Aether Story: Profit Model Update
Relatively recently we have decided internally to make Aether Story a "free to play" game. While this decision we were certain, what it actually meant for the project has been a journey. But I have returned from weeks of researching and decision making to present to you our new profile model and an update on the direction of the project.
What will "Free to Play" be like?
For Aether Story "Free to Play" will mean everyone will be able to download and play the game without spending a penny. Its important to note we are talking about once the game releases officially, while we are in Alpha there will be a slightly different model, which will we talk about below.
If everyone can play the game for free without spending a penny, then you may ask: how will the game make a profit? The answer isn't exactly a simple one, but we will be introducing an in-game Cash Shop. Within this shop we will sell to you "gems" for real world money. With these gems you will be able to buy cosmetic upgrades and quality of life improvements. We will never go "pay to win", we don't like games like that, so we won't be making one like that.
How can it not be "Pay to Win"?
We don't like "pay to win" games. We understand why it feels bad that when another player with more money has the ability to run around being more powerful. We will always be taking community feed back on our Cash Shop purchases and making sure we design them in ways that don't give that player an unfair advantage.
There are a few items we are excited to add in the quality of life upgrade category that could be perceived as "pay to win". These items we will be working with the community to make sure they feel fun and not game breaking.
Let's talk about an example: Inventory Space Upgrades. This will increase how many items you can carry before you can go back to town. It does not directly increase your power in-combat, but it does make it so you can stay out in the wild exploring longer than someone who hasn't purchased such upgrade. To address this, we will make sure you can earn Inventory Space upgrades for free through the course of game play- its just purchasing the upgrade will allow you to unlock it faster.
We make this promise to you now, we will never sell an item that increases your power. We will not sell combat buffs, equipment, weapons or items that benefit you directly in combat.
What other items will you sell on the Cash Shop?
We will reveal more items as the time comes closer to us releasing the Cash Shop, but we can talk about a few now.
Of the cosmetic items we will be allowing you to collect and purchase with gems new costume outfits, hair styles, hair color dyes, cosmetic pets that follow you around, and even cosmetic weapon skins.
Within the quality of life items you may purchase we will be offering: character slots, inventory upgrades, and shared bank space upgrades.
How does this affect me who donated before this change?
First we want to thank all of you early adopters who believed in us to donate and support us at such an early stage of the project's development.
As a thank you everyone who donated at least $20 or more before December 1st, 2019 will recieve:
- An Exclusive Pet (To be determined)
- Pre-Order the Crystal Bundle DLC Add-on
In addition to this, all rewards have been examined and some have been reworked. Please log into your account and review your Rewards page and Billing page to see what new additions have been given to you!
Thank you everyone, without your support the project would not have made it this far.
How will this affect the Alpha?
While the game is still in Alpha we will be allowing players to experience the game by "paying what you want" to access the Early Alpha. Donating before you download the game will help us fund the development of Aether Story!
You may download the Early Alpha client now through itch.io:
We are really enthusiastic to have you play our game! Being a small indie game
dev company, we depend on your support to keep us going.
Please consider making a small donation to help us fund the continuous
development of Aether Story! It will really help us out.
When will the game officially launch?
Our goal is to release the game once we get all the core features into the engine and get the main story completed up to a certain point. We are still far from this goal, but each month we are working on a new core feature and more locations and maps are added. Current estimations show that the official release of the game is around 6-8 months out.
The next Alpha we will be adding monster encounters and combat. Even in the most basic form, this will be a huge core feature that has been severly missing from the game. More soon on that! Be sure to stay tuned to this blog and follow us on social media for more updates.
Stay in Touch
Let me know if you have any other questions about the future of the project I will be answer all questions in the comments section below. Thank you!