Path of Exile - Editorial @ Polygon
When action-RPG Path of Exile was launched last year, developer Grinding Gear Games was clear. It would be an "ethical" free-to-play without any compromises to the evils of pay-to-win.
That meant no XP boosts or weapon upgrades, just for flashing a credit card. No expensive steeds or portals for fast-traveling. No intrusive ads and invitations to spend money on fancy new characters.
So how has the-style game been faring in the rough and tumble of the actual, open market?
Pretty good, it turns out. The New Zealand developer boasts over 5 million registered players with "hundreds of thousands" playing at any given time. Its first major expansion, Sacrifice of Vaal, is out next week.
"We probably would be making more income if we were pay-to-win," said lead programmer Jonathan Rogers. "But the game is doing very well. We paid off our development costs, the company is making enough money to expand."
Sacrifice of Vaal adds extra PvP content, a new race of dark-magic wielders and the ability to charge up super-powered weapons by killing monsters. But there will be no change to the game's low-key monetization policy.
"We would never want to compromise the game," said lead designer Chris Wilson. He added that gouging and persistent monetization policies generally hide game mechanics that are built around profits. The only way to win with a non-intrusive approach is to "make a really good game that people love to play."
Information aboutPath of Exile
Genre: Hack & Slash