In a deep dive video today as part of Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest 2021, the Amazon Games team showcased New World, its upcoming MMORPG, as well as touched on a few pressing questions, including the concerns around its cash shop and the idea of 'pay to win.'
The nearly twenty minute long video goes over the high level brief of New World: an MMO set during the twilight years of the Age of Exploration centered on a timeless island where magic roams thanks to the mysterious substance called Azoth. The MMORPG itself features action combat and, while it's suffered multiple delays, is still slated to release this August.
During the video, Lane touches on how player feedback especially have driven the production of the MMO since its initialy release targets in 2020 were missed. That is a constant mantra with the studio, though, as time and time again when the delays were discussed, the need to go back and add more mid-to-end game content based on what players have been saying has always been cited. However, some of the feedback led to other aspects, such as adding more and more PvE content, and the (to some) controversial aspect of turning PvP optional.
After the deep dive was finished, Scot Lane and Geoff Keighley stood for a Q&A (In person, like in the Before Times!) with Keighley asking Lane what he felt New World was bringing to the venerable genre of MMORPG.
"There's a few things. One, we're building this beautiful world, and I think our graphics bring a different dimension to the MMO genre. They're a little more realistic, and it helps us with the storytelling that we're trying to tell about Aeternum and this time generation. But the combat is the big differentiator. You bring those modern graphics in with the action combat and it creates a whole experience you can get lost in. "
However, in recent weeks the controversy around New World's cash shop and the idea that AGS could be selling boosters down the road for the MMO has caused some concerns in the MMO community. This is namely due to the amount of MMOs that feature what some consider "pay to win" elements, where someone can just dump money into the game and get an advantage over those who play it normally. The time booster inclusions also causes some to be concerned as it drives speculation that progression is built with the hope that it drives players to the shop (not helped by the recent alpha patch notes that increase the amount of experience you'll need by 40% at certain levels). Geoff didn't press the question, but did bring up the monetization concerns and asked about what AGS is doing with how New World is monetized.
"We've tried to be as transparent as we can with the players, and we continue to do that. So with that in mind, we're going out and building a game that has a very level playing field. That is super important to me. It's super important to the team. When we launch, we're only going to have cosmetics for sale in the store. Over the next several years, the game is going to grow and grow and grow, and we're going to see where that takes us. "
You can check out the full video and interview in the video embed above. New World is coming on August 31st, with the beta taking place at the end of July.