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I spent a good amount of my weekend sitting on Youtube watching and rewatching WildStar videos.  Some would call me unmotivated, or lazy, but after today's announcement I'm just going to say I was "conducting preemptive research".  You see, Carbine has announced their novel way that players will pay to play their MMO when it launches next year.  

First of all, and this should be no surprise to anyone who's kept up on the amount of content coming to the game, WildStar will be a subscription game.  But Carbine is, well awesome, and so they didn't stop there.  They realize that in today's climate it's pretty much a death sentence for a new MMO to launch with a simple subscription pay model, and so they are introducing something they call the C.R.E.D.D., or Certificate of Research, Exploration Destruction and Development.  This ingame item will be available for purchase on the game's auction house Commodities Exchange, and can also be bought on the WildStar website.  This means that if you don't have the time but you do have the cash, you can buy the C.R.E.D.D online and sell it to other players, who then can use their massive amounts (time ain't cheap people) of ingame gold to buy their month's worth of game time.  

“Gamers have strong opinions when it comes to business models and monetization in MMO games,” said Jeremy Gaffney, executive producer at Carbine Studios.” In combining a classic subscription model with C.R.E.D.D. and Game Time cards, we think we’ve struck a good balance. It supports players preferring to pay monthly, while the availability of C.R.E.D.D. enables players to continue enjoying WildStar by taking advantage of a player-driven economy.”

I've seen other games, City of Heroes comes to mind, use this system to exchange free-to-play currencies between players, but I have yet to see a game decide to use microtransaction items to trade for game time.  This is a fascinating take on a payment model, and one I am extremely interested to try out for myself.  Of course I don't really fall into either the "cash-rich/time-poor" or the "time-rich/cash-poor" crowd, but that doesn't mean I won't attempt to earn myself a month or two of gametime.  It's certainly a passive incentive to spend hours upon hours on Nexus.  

So what do you think of this hybrid business model?  Would you use C.R.E.D.D?

4 Comments for this post.
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Very interesting, I like the approach. I know Eve online has a system to allow you to buy gametime with in game currency and Everquest (the original) allows you to buy an item to sell or trade with players to give them subscription time as well.


Honestly this might be a step in the right direction.

Like 3 Disike 0

This is brilliant. I love the concept of being able to "earn" my playtime by gathering in-game currency. It rewards those that are dedicated. Of course, to take advantage of it I'll have to give up sleep all together, but there is always a price to pay. Dammit Carbine, why you so smart?

[Ereshkigal] @ 2:45:01 PM Aug 26, 2013
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This is certainly an interesting concept. I have only played F2P or straight subscription based MMO's previously, but I would be willing to try out this model and would definitely appreciate some "free" play-time. Particularly if I enjoy the game as much as it seems I will.  If I'm playing that much and earning credit to play more... seems like an endless, vicious cycle. I'm okay with that though.

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