There is both good news and bad news for Albion Online players today as Sandbox Interactive look towards their plans for 2016. The payment model for Albion Online will be buy-to-play, rather than free-to-play as initially announced, when it eventually launches following an extended Closed Beta period lasting until at least August 1st, 2016.
The reasoning behind dropping Albion Online’s free-to-play model in favor of buy-to-play is first and foremost a matter of development time. They say that: “Making the game ready for a free to play model would take up significant development time which we would much rather use to make a better game.” There would also be a lot of risks with the free-to-play model for Albion Online such as spamming and botting which are so often a plague on free-to-play MMORPGs.
And by extending the Closed Beta period, Sandbox Interactive will be able to make some pretty big improvements to Albion Online, with the hope of making the game a long term success. By giving themselves more time, Albion Online can launch at its fullest potential.
The current Founder’s Packs will be discontinued when Albion Online launches and instead replaced with Starter Packs. These will grant access to the game but offer less value for money than the Founder’s Packs, which will also grant full access to the game.