Creative Director of Ashes of Creation, Steven Sharif, may not be the most outspoken developers in the industry, but recently, his hot take on the upcoming Amazon Game Studios title, New World has made some waves. The Discord message in question hasn’t been removed, but has been deemed “unprofessional” from Sharif himself earlier today on Reddit.
The commentary that led to Sharif’s eventual Reddit explanation hinged on a conversation around New World’s cash shop items that were leaked earlier this week, and addressed by AGS on Friday, May 14th. Of course, this information ruffled quite a few feathers in the MMORPG community, and it seems as though Sharif was no different, as his original response directly from the Discord post can attest:
Sharif’s commentary earned some praise from fans of Ashes of Creation, while the New World reddit is largely debating the possibilities of a Pay to Win Cash Shop at launch. While it's unclear which designs specifically he believes Amazon drew inspiration from, Sharif, in his Reddit explanation, addresses the unprofessionalism of his words, and also understands that AoC isn’t wholly immune from cash shop drama:
“I agree my commentary was unprofessional and I will endeavor to be more tempered in my response on issues I care a lot about. Sometimes it’s difficult when, as a player, I was excited for their MMO and what it brought to the mmo space. Which desperately needs new successful products.
… I know we have taken our own flack for our preorder system, of which I have tried my best to engage and explain how our packages work, and how our cosmetics offered are used in variants to actually help build our world.
The mmo community is diverse and has many opinions on the aspects of monetizations, so of course we will each have our own opinions. And that’s fine! But the best thing a company can do is be UPFRONT about their monetization intents from the start. And do their absolute best to stick to what they’ve said, and if changes are needed explain WHY.”
-Steven Sharif, Creative Director, Ashes of Creation
Hefty words, that many certainly would agree with. It’s rare that a monetization strategy change resonates with players, even if statistics and first-hand accounts show that some games benefit greatly both in population, and financially, when monetization changes occur, even if only for a time. Still, at this time both New World and Ashes of Creation are in development, and neither has launched, so conjecture on how either of their monetization models will evolve between now and launch are just that, conjecture.
Ashes of Creation recently delayed their Alpha One test until July, after it was initially delayed from its June 1st testing date. Ashes of Creation at this time plans to have a robust cosmetic shop, one that can be seen in full effect via cosmetic skin add-ons that you can preorder on a rotating basis as part of a package. Packages start at 75 dollars, with $500.00 packages available that will reward you with access to all future testing phases. As AoC transitions through its various developmental phases, we look forward to seeing how it may evolve, as we inch closer to a release.