Days away from opening up to the general public, Turbine is already overwhelmed by the positive performance of the newly free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons Online Unlimited.
Announced earlier this summer and opening to the public on September 9, the new Dungeons and Dragons Online relegates subscription fees to VIP members, allowing anyone to play for free, relying on a cash store that sells extra dungeons, quests, classes, and items for revenue. According to Turbine director of communications Adam Mersky, the early access program is already indicating tremendous success for the new business model.
"They all got a ton of points for being loyal subscribers, for being in the beta. We weren't really expecting a ton of sales... they had no incentive to. They already had access to all of the content as VIP subscribers, and we just gave them a buttload of points."
With a buttload of points and access to all of the premium content through in-game quests, one wouldn't expect the early access folks would need more points. One would also be mistaken, apparently.
"They've gone through their points, and we've already sold millions more Turbine points, and we've not even opened up the world to the public yet."
And what is selling? What would subscribers rather pay for than unlock through in-game means?
"The hottest selling items are the new favoured Soul class, which is unlockable in game, but all of our subs just went ahead and spent points on it, unlocked it, and they're playing it right now. We're real excited for September 9th when we open the world up to everyone else."
It sounds as if DDO, a game that had all but dropped off of our radar, could be coming back in a big way. We'll check back with Turbine once things go live to see if the buying trend continues.