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Planetside 2 dev discusses beta progress, ‘subscription MMOs dying’

Wednesday, 29th August 2012 13:38 GMT By Dave Cook

Planetside 2 beta play has been ongoing now for a little while, and developer Sony Online Entertainment has revealed to VG247 how it’s been going, as well as its view on ‘dying’ subscription-based MMOs.

Planetside 2 game designer Jason Good, explained to VG247 just how successful the game’s beta phase has been so far, “It’s really a pretty big undertaking for our team. We’ve been in this mode of ‘heads down, working hard’, banging stuff out, for so long – and then all of a sudden you need to shift into being essentially a live game.”

“Bug fixes that once could have been put off become urgent, the community expands, and now there’s a ton of new data to examine. One of the things that I think surprised us all was just how epic the combat felt right from the get go with beta.”

“We still have a lot of work in front of us, but even in this really raw state we saw the potential of what we had going. The sheer numbers involved give the fighting an intensity that you just can’t replicate with any other game mechanic, and that’s something that has us really excited.”

When asked how the beta feedback could steer Planetside 2 development further, as well a influencing the game’s final launch date, Good replied, “Beta is huge for us. We have a game that’s intended to be played with thousands of people –this is the first time for us as developers that we really get to see if our designs hold up under those numbers.”

“Testing things with hundreds of people internally lets us extrapolate what we think will happen, but with beta we get to experience everything as sort of a ‘live fire’ exercise. We know where we need to be at launch, and the data we see on beta and the feedback we get from players is going to do nothing but help us get there.”

“As a free-to-play game, rushing it out the door would be especially bad. There’s no box sales for us to fall back on – if it isn’t fun, we aren’t going to see any money, simple as that. Luckily for us, I think a lot of people are going to have a blast in PlanetSide 2. There’s nothing quite like it when it comes to online gaming.”

But free-to-play is still absolutely the way to go, says Good, “In the traditional sense, I’d say [free-to-play is] definitely dying. As developers continue to figure out how to handle free-to-play in more effective ways, I think the traditional subscription MMO will continue to fade. ”

Check back for our full Planetside 2 interview soon.

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10 Comments

  1. freedoms_stain

    This game as a Beta that still has a lot of unimplemented features coming, is more fun than a lot of full releases that have been out for months and years.

    If you love team based action this game is immense. I contributed to a couple of major assaults last night and it was sheer carnage, there’s nothing quite like dozens upon dozens of players spewing out a Galaxy in a constant stream assaulting a fortified enemy position, taking a quiet route down the left flank and powering through a poorly defended out-building to grab your first foothold on the facility. And this is happening a dozen times on 1 map between 3 warring factions.

    It’s insane.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    ^^ Haha, you sound like me now :P

    I totally agree though, somehow they just get the balance between scale and teamwork just right, and that’s a rush unlike any other I’ve had in a videogame.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. ManuOtaku

    This will come to the ps3 and/or ps4?, or only on PC.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    @3 It’s F2P with micro-transactions, traditionally that doesn’t fit on consoles, but you never know.

    It’s only on PC at the moment though.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ManuOtaku

    #4, Thanks, i do hope nontheless it will come at some point to ps4

    #5 2 years ago
  6. nimrod123

    i doubt it will make it to consoles, every patch costs ~20,000USD per console, so 40,000USD total and with every minor balance patch the community will demand, or instant fix needed thats simply to much to bear

    just look at battlefeild 3 where patches only come with DLC launches.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @6 SOE stands for Sony Online Entertainment.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    I still think that buy to play is the most sensible of all the models. Consider: It gives them a very powerful financial shot in the arm from the box sales, but it doesn’t carry the subscription. It’s the subscription that most people balk at because they can’t stand the idea of paying for a game, and then paying more for it on a monthly basis.

    But if you go freemium, it means you absolutely must ensure that people buy stuff from your store the day it goes live. This is why you can’t have mostly cosmetic stuff on your store, and why you can’t allow people the choice to exchange in-game gold for cash-store money like… oh, say Guild Wars 2.

    So both the subscription model and freemium have their evils. I really hope that buy to play becomes more commonplace, because if Guild Wars 1 and 2 are anything to go by, it results in a quality product, a lack of a subscription, and a cash shop which doesn’t force you to buy things from it to play.

    It’s funny, I’ve bought some cosmetic stuff from the cash shop in GW2 simply because of my appreciation for the fact that I went the first 20 levels without feeling I needed to buy anything. So I grabbed some gems with money.

    It’s a really sensible system.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dragon246

    @Dave,
    “I’d say [free-to-play is] definitely dying”
    I think its Subscription based mmos.

    Planetside 2 looks cool.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    If it works, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a PS4 port.

    Manu, if I had the coins, I would buy you a PC! You would love one.

    #10 2 years ago

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