With the launch of Dungeons and Dragons Unlimited, the F2P version of Turbine's D&D Online, looming on the horizon, Garrett Fuller had a chance to ask a few questions of the game's Executive Producer Fernando Paiz.
Tell us about the choice to make DDO Free-to-Play? How did Turbine come to this decision?
Turbine has been exploring Free-to-Play and micro-transactions based business models for several years now. We have seen the growing popularity of these models, particularly in the Asian markets, and we've been on the lookout for the right opportunity to bring a compelling offering to the West. We didn't know if that would mean importing and operating a game from another developer, applying the model to a new game, or something else.
About 2 years ago we started to seriously look at the possibility of converting one of our existing franchises to Free-to-Play. As we prepared some analysis on what this would entail for each of our major franchises, we quickly came to see that DDO was a great fit. Although some big design changes were needed to make this work, we found that we were able to make a new model which fit cleanly with the existing core game play mechanics and the game world. Many people have remarked that this also feels like a great fit for the D&D IP. After all, when D&D got started this was the model: you bought the base rule book and then you would buy incremental content and miniatures and other ways to enhance your game play when you were ready.
Read the Unlimited Q&A