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Default Dragon Age Journeys - Launches Today, Will Involve Microtransactions

October 22nd, 2009, 19:26
Gamepro has an interview with the developers of Dragon Age: Journeys. They discuss gameplay and the future of flash-based gaming.
The game that launches tomorrow, subtitled "The Deep Roads" is actually the first part of a planned trilogy of single player games which will later be followed by a multiplayer game. According to Spenner, this first chapter can be beaten in about two and half hours on the easiest difficulty setting, but there's some replay value in the shape of three different (customizable) character classes. It is entirely free, which begs the question of how EA 2D plans to make money out of the project? "The first chapter is free to play," Hawley explained. "For subsequent chapters and the multiplayer version we are exploring micro-transactions. Ad support isn't necessary for us right now, we like keeping the content pretty clean and free from outside distractions."
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October 22nd, 2009, 19:26
Great? Microtransactions. When Aries mentioned something about them I thought he was crazy, but I should of known better. He was talking about EA afterall.

I know, let's set it up like pogo and people can pay for the really cool loot in their pogo like store. Why not, they did it with The Sims.

Sorry Aries for doubting you.

And this was really dissapointing. I thought they were being nice like The Witcher's flash game. You didn't have to pay a dime to play that, ever.
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October 22nd, 2009, 19:36
This reminds me of the "Conspiracy in Ferdok", a TDE-based game, the first chapter was also free : http://www.tde-games.com/

I don't quite remember, or the "Conspiracy in Ferdok" was the free first chapter of a two-chapter game … It is so long ago …

So … the idea isn't so new, then …

(These TDE-based games also exist in English language, as I linked to them above.)

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October 22nd, 2009, 21:14
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Great? Microtransactions. When Aries mentioned something about them I thought he was crazy, but I should of known better. He was talking about EA afterall.

I know, let's set it up like pogo and people can pay for the really cool loot in their pogo like store. Why not, they did it with The Sims.

Sorry Aries for doubting you.

And this was really dissapointing. I thought they were being nice like The Witcher's flash game. You didn't have to pay a dime to play that, ever.
To be fair, you can play the first chapter of DA: Journeys for free. If you want to play chapter two or three, you'll have to pay. And you can unlock content you can use in DA: Origins.

Browser games, I think, used to bee free?

The best thing I have to say about this is that eventually DA: Journeys will involve into a multi-player game. And there have been a lot of threads asking for this over at the Bioware forums.

It surprised me that the his game will be in 2D, be hex based and use a true turn-based system in combat. However, market research must have convinced EA and Bioware that this will be profitable…. i.e. incresed player base. Many casual gamers these days play browser games, and so EA thinks they can reel in the casual gamers this way, I find.

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October 22nd, 2009, 21:15
Sorry for the repost—I didn't notice the earlier one and I thought the microtransactions was the important bit.
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October 22nd, 2009, 21:24
That's OK - the micro-transactions are important, I find.

Especially since EA's head honcho, Ray and Greg from Bioware all seem in agreement that full digital is the way to go forward when it comes to even single player games (rpgs and such) - and since the whole 'software as service' bit also will be increasing in the coming years. This is my pre-diction, at least.

We need to discuss what this means for the singleplayer rpg?

I don't think many os us here would like the idea of being online all the time, or just the idea of putting micro-transactions in the game, meaning that to get the sword of uber-cool, you will have to pay say 2-4 US dollars.

However, I do believe that we're in the minority here.

People are already used to buying (new) songs for their Guitar Hero game. Most people don't distinguish, I believe?, between paying for a song in Guitar Hero or Rock Band, or paying to do a (non-essential) quest in Dragon Age: Origins.

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October 22nd, 2009, 21:32
Imho Guitar Hero ist much more "mainstream" than Dragon Age.

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October 22nd, 2009, 22:15
It's also a bit of a different crowd—with a much bigger modding community. I can see paying for the Stone Prisoner, new character, potentially new plots. But for uberswords of goodness, what's to stop modders from inserting something as good or better into the game?

I also find the expectations of different platforms interesting. Most games on the iphone go for $1-3 bucks on average, and provide at least 2-3 hours of entertainment. I really don't see how EA can justify charging more than that for a comparable amount of content.

I do agree that the era of expansions are largely over. I don't think we're at a stage quite yet where everything goes digital. PSPgo is tanking, largely because people don't want to spend $40 on a game they can find used for a fraction of that—especially if it's a game they've already purchased.

Of course, if it gets to the point where digital download has a monopoly, this might change. But I don't foresee piracy ever going away, especially if games continue costing $50.

"Ad support isn't necessary" because ad support isn't as profitable.
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