Kid-friendly massively multiplayer game Wizard101 is now allowing their gamers to pay to play via a monthly subscription or micropayments, Texas-based developer KingsIsle Entertainment announced today.
Access to the game's basic features will remain free, but now gamers can either pay a monthly fee of $US7 to $US10 to access more advanced gameplay or choose to pay as little as a $US1 to unlock small sections of the game, one street at a time.
Depending on how they set it up, this could be a lot like buying an expansion pack for World of Warcraft. It would have to include pretty big chunks of access to work like that, but either way it's an intriguing idea
KingsIsle Entertainment Lets Wizard101 Players Choose Their Payment With Pay-By-Zone
Plano, Texas — Nov 03, 2008 — Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment today launched a new payment option that essentially lets players of the company's new virtual world, Wizard101 (www.wizard101.com) decide for themselves which game payment plan suits them best, whether it's via monthly subscription or micropayment. Each of the four imaginative 3D worlds currently in Wizard101 contains zones that are now individually unlockable through micropayment. A considerable amount of game content remains free to play.
"A parent can reward a child with days of entertainment content for the price of a pack of gum... and at the same time someone who regularly meets up with their friends in Wizard101 may elect to get full access up front, and save by subscribing," said KingsIsle Entertainment CEO Elie Akilian.
Designed to fill the void between online play sites for the very young and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games with mature adult interaction, Wizard101 puts players in the fantasy role of a wizard apprentice at the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts. The game's colourful creative look, family-friendly features and immersive game play have made the site a popular online destination since launch in September. Players can choose to play in three economic formats:
1. At the basic level, Wizard101 is free-to-play for as long as players choose.
2. Subscriptions provide advanced gameplay access for a monthly fee. Prices start at $US6.95 per account per month for multiple accounts on the family plan, or $US9.95 per month for the regular subscription. All items will be available to subscribers via in-game gold or item drops.
3. The micropayment system now allows individual streets or "zones" to be unlocked for as little as $US1.00. Players purchase packages of in-game currency called Crowns to buy zones or items in the game. A volume discount is available based on the number of Crowns purchased.
Wizard101 features spell-casting adventure and card style game play. The game's family-friendly safety features include a collaborative play style, a chat system with many options and a character name selector. The game contains no blood, and characters don't die if they are defeated in a duel of spells-they simply go to a safe area in the game to regain health. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board gave Wizard101 a rating of E10+.
To download screens, movies and additional assets, please visit http://www.mmpr.com/MMPRFTP/FTP%20Folders/KingsIsle
About KingsIsle Entertainment
Founded in 2005, with operations in the Dallas area and Austin, KingsIsle is creating massively multiplayer online entertainment offerings that are innovative, compelling, uncommon and of high quality. They have brought together a team of highly creative, energetic, accomplished and skilled professionals to develop these projects. The team consists of individuals with unique and in-depth experience in the development of video games, online environments, communications and commercial software. For more information, please visit www.kingsisle.com.