Albion Online Beta Extended, Will No Longer be Free-to-Play at Launch

Sandbox Interactive CEO Stefan Wiezorek has announced that the closed beta for upcoming MMO Albion Online will be extended until “at least” August 1, 2016, and confirmed that the game is longer being planned for a free-to-play model at launch.

Wiezorek announced the changes on the game’s official forums in a post called “Road to Release.” He emphasized that the reason for the changes is that the developer wants Albion Online to be a “long-term success,” so additional time in beta status will ensure the game is a quality product upon release. In regards to changes to the monetization model, Wiezorek said that building the infrastructure for and designing the game around being free-to-play “would take up significant development time which we would much rather use to make a better game” in addition to creating “a lot of risks” for the game as well, citing examples “spamming, botting, world too small, etc.”

As there have been “founder’s packs” sold during the game’s current beta phase, Wiezorek explained how those players would be handled (emphasis his):

When the game goes live, current founder’s packs will be discontinued and replaced with starter packs, which will give full access to the game but offer less value for money than the founder’s packs as this is only fair to all founders who help us in making the game. Of course, all founder’s will automatically get full access to the game on release as well.

Finally, Wiezorek also detailed major game improvements planned for the game before release, from increasing the world size, introducing more variety, more dungeons, changes to zones, PvP and PvE play, and more. You can read the full list of changes in Wiezorek’s post.