Written by Al "RAFTER" Corey
Executive Producer, Cornered Rat Software
Playnet is pleased to announce new subscription terms for WWII Online: Battelground Europe. Effective April 1st, 2010 the new terms will provide enhanced features and deliver a one-of-a-kind experience in the MMO genre.
The new subscription terms replace the current $14.99 monthly fee immediately with a "per-death" charge. Each time a character is killed or a vehicle is destroyed, a $29.99 charge will be applied to the player's credit card or PayPal account. The new pricing scheme adds an additional realism feature to the game by linking character death with a monetary penalty.
HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY!
The decision to move to this new subscription was due, in part, to responses from player survey's in which "enhanced realism" was rated as the top feature request/enhancement. In addition, data mining from the Playnet-operated discussion forums found that 189,078 individual threads contained the keywords, "realism", "realistic" or "nerfed". This was a clear signal to Playnet that a change was necessary. The new feature needed to bring a new and never before seen level of realism to gaming.
"Our initial tests in this area happened years ago when we automatically deleted the contents of players' hard disk drives when they installed the game but that was difficult to sustain. A more recent idea was to find a way to deliver a near-fatal electric shock through the keyboard via the Internet each time a player's character died, " said Al 'Rafter Corey- Playnet's Executive Producer. "Once we figured out how to do that, we thought we were on our way to an exciting new feature. Unfortunately, that had to be modified when we realized the bandwidth requirements exceeded our phat pipe capabilities."
The monetary penalty of $29.99 per death was substituted for the electric shock once Playnet's CEO pointed out that live customers paying boatloads of money was a better choice than nearly dead ones paying a measly $14.99 per month. "Frankly, we could use boatloads of money. I mean, who couldn't?" said Jim Mesteller, CEO and Senior Babysitter in Charge of HC Morale.
As an exciting addition to the new realism feature, players who have become members of the elite "WWII Online Builders" group- those that have made a significant monetary commitment towards the long-term development of the game- are eligible to have one of the game's Customer Care staff make a monthly visit to their homes and deliver a crippling blow to a body part of their choice using either a regulation softball bat or a Callaway 9-iron. Corey explained, "We wanted to make sure our Builders were treated as a special group since they're one-time contribution makes it harder for us to bill them for each death. The personal touch by our staff will let them know that we haven't excluded them from the ehanced realism feature."
Intitial focus testing of the feature resulted in sky-rocketing revenue and resulting celebration in the halls of Playnet's development studio, Cornered Rat Software. It was immediately followed by some odd online behavior by players. Logs show that town captures were resulting less from soft caps and camping and more from open and friendly dialog between Axis and Allied players. "It's probably just an anonomly. I'm pretty sure we'll be rolling in dough in no time," concluded Corey.