Developer Flagship Studios has announced that Hellgate: London is "guaranteed" to include a free-of-charge alternative for online multiplayer, and that the MMO-style subscription fee is just one of the options currently being explored.
"If you want lots of great continual content, and all of the services, we'll have to figure out how to do that," Flagship CEO Bill Roper told Shacknews. Flagship would need to generate cash in some way to keep supporting Hellgate, as Blizzard does with World of Warcraft, with guild setups, auction houses, 24/7 customer service and so on. However, as we reported yesterday (see below), subscription pricing is still to be finalized.
January 11, 2007
Hellgate: London's online multiplayer service will be a subscription fee based setup, similar to other massively multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft and EVE Online, developer Flagship Studios has revealed.
The subscription fee is due to the game employing many subscription MMO-style features, such as guilds, a stream of brand new content and raid-style gameplay, Flagship told videogame site Shacknewsat this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Above: Hellgate: London's multiplayer action will include the entire singleplayer story campaign, plus extras.
This is despite the close comparison between Hellgate's online experience and that of Guild Wars and Diablo II, both of which operate free-of-charge multiplayer. Unlike World of Warcraft, Hellgate's multiplayer will not take place in a single, persistent world but as a series of linked 'instances' - self-contained combat zones where the game's full action will occur.
However, as subscription fee details have yet to be revealed, Hellgate: London multiplayer may actually turn out to be real value for money. Hellgate is slated for release by the end of 2007, and we should be seeing an open beta trial in the near future, so expect to hear more on the game's subscription fees in the coming months.
January 10, 2007