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E3 2015: Free-to-Play Wuxia Action - The Business Model Revealed

Som Pourfarzaneh Posted:
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The Chinese Wuxia genre is one of the most celebrated martial traditions in modern films and video games, and Blade & Soul, a new free-to-play MMORPG from NCSOFT, looks to put that genre on center stage.  Blade & Soul, which will launch with a fully realized, three-act story at launch, will feature high-level, competitive PvP, with hardcore features like a 1v1 arena in which gear will be equalized to promote player skill.

At E3 earlier this month, we got to take a look at Blade & Soul’s free-to-play monetization model and philosophy, which is based upon the three tenets of unrestricted content, no pay-to-win items, and regular content updates.  We were assured that Blade & Soul will not offer any gear, permanent stat boosts, or unfair competitive advantages, and that NCSOFT will be testing their content update cadence in the game’s closed beta test later this year.

Blade & Soul’s cash shop will utilize NCoins, NCSOFT’s proprietary currency, which will allow you to buy convenience items, quality of life improvements, and cosmetic items.  You’ll also be able to earn a special free currency through playing the game, which will allow you to buy most of the things that are purchasable with NCoins.  These items will include the aforementioned convenience and cosmetic goods and seasonal event items.

NCSOFT’s new MMORPG will also offer a premium membership customized for each release territory.  This membership will be available through the cash shop for 30-day (and other increment) subscriptions, and will provide benefits like gold, experience, and currency boosts, as well as a cosmetic movement effect specific to each class, like a neat windwalk effect that we got to see in our preview.  Blade & Soul will offer several tiers of membership based on your spending of NCoins and the in-game currency.

Blade & Soul is set to have its closed beta test in Fall of this year, with launch in Winter 2015.  In advance of the closed beta, NCSOFT will be offering three tiers of digital pre-order packs, all of which will include CBT access.

Stay tuned for more info about Blade & Soul as we have it!


Som Pourfarzaneh

Som has been hanging out with the MMORPG.com crew since 2011, and is an Associate Director & Lecturer in Media, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. He’s a former Community Manager for Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, and is unreasonably good at Maze Craze for the Atari 2600. You can exchange puns and chat (European) football with him on Twitter @sominator.