News: Dungeons and Dragons

Going free-to-play draws new players to Dungeons and Dragons Online

At Phonica we keep a keen eye on the world of MMOs – from new players to more established titles. One such established title, Dungeons and Dragons Online, recently made the move to being free-to-play whilst retaining an optional monthly subscription. In an interview with the blog, Ars Technica, the game’s executive producer Fernando Paiz said they’ve seen a 40% growth in the number of subscribers and overall growth at double the rate of their predictions.

“We’re hitting and exceeding our internal targets, so far we’re very happy. All aspects of our business are growing. Hundreds of thousands of new players in the world are playing for free, with a very high percentage using the store,” he told the blog.

The DDO client can now be downloaded for free and players can jump straight into the game. Items are purchased with Turbine points which can be earned by playing the game or bought using real world cash. Subscribing gets you a monthly income of points and other perks.

The DDO team think that so far players are enjoying the new system. “It does totally change the rules of the game, but it’s very much in the player’s favour,” Paiz explained. “They get to try the game, not be constrained by a one-week trial, and then decide when they’ve made the commitment that they’re engaged enough that they’re ready to spend money.”

From a business perspective it seems to be making sense too. Paiz noted that a lot of players were willing to spend more than the cost of a subscription each month, so by opening up their payment model the DDO team can tap into players willing to pay for a deep experience as well as netting those interested in a more casual style of play.

Ian Duncan


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