"We just wanted to whack skeletons with clubs"

Max Schaefer: That was part of it. There was always a feeling with the Diablo series that we never pushed it into modern times. One of the inspirations for Mythos was to go back and create the essential magic that the Diablo gameplay style provided, but do it in a simple, extensible way so we could explore moving it into a more interesting, dynamic, and social world. The part that was sort of a given was going back to the roots of gameplay, and the experimental part is a combination of fusing MMO elements into the game, and using a whole new business model and delivery system.

GR: Mythos is a rarity in the MMO sphere in that it's completely free of subscription fees. What brought about that decision? Distaste for the current publishing model? The need tocompete in a WoW-dominated market? Something else entirely?

MS: We’d like to think we’re clever enough to have made up this model, but the truth is that it’s become the dominant business model in Asia, and is quickly coming to the US/Europe market. Certainly, it’s foolish to compete directly with WoW, but even if there was no WoW, we would still be moving in this direction. We like the model because of the low barrier to entry. You don’t need to go to a store, buy a box, and commit to payments on a game you’re not sure you want to play. We are confident in Mythos, and confident that people will want to participate after they’ve tried it out.

GR: How sustainable will that business model be? You're using optional real money transactions to fund the game at the moment, but will we potentially see any other methods of gathering revenue appear as the game's user-base grows?

MS: As of now, we see the real-money transactions as being our business model. We have no plans to use ads or other methods of gathering revenue. The burden is on us to provide a compelling case to the customer why they should pay for items in the game, while at the same time keeping a great gaming experience for free players.

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.