Surviving The Future: Vostok Talk Survarium

When GSC collapsed and seemed to take STALKER 2 with it, there was immediately a ray of light: Vostok, a team consisting of a large section of the original Stalker development team, now making their own game, Survarium. While the art style and atmosphere look astonishingly similar to that classic open-world shooter, what we’re looking at here is a free-to-play MMOFPS. Quite a different proposition indeed, despite powerful influences from the Roadside Picnic/Zone mythology which underwrote the original GSC games.

With Vostok’s recently-announced development timeline showing a Survarium beta happening in 2013, I thought it might be a good idea to catch up Oleg Yavorsky, the company’s spokesman, and a fellow I had previously conducted numerous STALKER interviews with over the years. Read on below to see how we got on.

RPS: Can you summarise the concept behind Survarium for our readers? I know some folk are expecting a game like STALKER, but it’s really not like that, is it?

Yavorsky: Although designed with our S.T.A.L.K.E.R. background and experience in mind, Survarium is going to be totally different game. The game is in another genre, it introduces a new story, different gameplay, but we are doing our best to deliver the same kind of quality as with our previous games. At least in the sense of atmosphere, the feeling of suspense and looming danger the game should deliver a similar experience as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

For those who are not familiar with the project, Survarium is a free2play MMOFPS set in the near future. The game focuses on the aftermath of a massive ecological catastrophe on Earth, the reasons behind which are only vaguely known. Survarium is designed as a session-based shooter. There are three game modes on our plan list: the team-based PvP, PvE with co-op missions and the Free play mode, each offering its own challenges and playthrough mechanics to the player. You can find out more about the game concept and story from our website.

RPS: Can you explain a bit more detail about the world? What’s the story? And what sort of factions can players play with? Can we set up our own gangs or clans?

Yavorsky: Imagine global environmental disasters, NPP explosions, chemical plant catastrophes and extensive contamination over large areas – all leading to the downfall of human civilization and the world order. After years of ruthless exploitation, nature strikes back to wipe the human population off the earth. Anarchy flares up in the remains of cities and towns as the mutating greenery and animals advance. That’s just the tip the iceberg though… The player’s task, as one of the survivors, is to find out what in fact has occurred, the reasons behind it, to help them adapt and survive in the new world.

As for the in-game factions, those will provide the player with their unique equipment and missions.

We have already introduced two which will be available from the start – Scavengers and Black Market. The equipment of Scavengers is focused on survival, research of anomalies and artifact seeking. Their weaponry is primarily designed for ranged combat and self-defense. Black Market, on the other hand, is close combat-oriented and their equipment provides higher protection against firearms damage. The unique items possessed by the factions will be artifact devices for Scavengers, while traps and snares will be offered by the Black Market.

A few other game factions are going to be introduced later on. Effectively, the player won’t be able to join a faction, only cooperate with them. The players can establish their own clans though. The game will provide the possibilities for clans to wage territory wars with each other, receive bonuses and upgrades, influence the game story development and more.

RPS: So is there a single-player campaign? How is the PvE aspect of the game going to work?

Yavorsky: We do not provide a traditional single-player campaign in Survarium. Yet, in the Free play mode what we have planned is expected to give the players that ‘lone wolf’ kind of feel, where he is going to load off on a big map with a task to reach a certain checkpoint and the need to survive against the anomalies, mutants and other players on the way.

Even though Survarium is designed as purely an online game, we do plan to introduce the strong story component and have ideas of how it could be integrated into the gameplay. The co-op mission-oriented PvE mode planned will have the highest slant towards the story.

Another idea we have is to get the community involved to influence further story development. For example, if there is a story-related object on the map which the player can either destroy or save at his own discretion, we will collect the general statistic of what the choices were made by the majority of players. If the majority opted to destroy it, the story will evolve in the direction where that particular object is no more.

RPS: And how does that relate to the co-op aspect of the game? Is that equivalent to the “campaign” we might expect from a normal FPS?

Yavorsky: Yes, in a way. The co-op mission idea derives from the old S.T.A.L.K.E.R. times. So many people wanted to play the missions in a squad together with their friends. We are happy it will finally be possible to implement it in Survarium.

The co-op mode is currently in a very early stage of development, but here’s an idea of a possible mission. The players are to hold out against waves of mutants on a derelict military base. In parallel to that, they can carry out the base exploration to get a better understanding of the story behind that base. Provided the team is efficient, they are able to partially restore the base electronics and obtain some secret information to grant them access to the next co-op mission.

RPS: So how many players can we expect to see on a map?

Yavorsky: It depends on the mode of play and further testing, but we estimate up to thirty players on the map per game session. The solo-play will be enabled in the Freeplay mode only; the other two are designed as team-based experience.

RPS: Will we have the same sort of NPCs and missions? Or is that side of things handled in another way?

Yavorsky: We do not plan NPCs in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sense of it. Our belief is that the real human opponents are much more fun to play against compared to the artificially programmed ones.

RPS: Can you go into a bit of detail about how the PvP works? Is it an open-world thing, or more session-based?

Yavorsky: The PvP mode offers a teamplay experience with two opposing forces fighting on a dedicated map for a limited time. It’s going to be a session-based experience therefore, with the two teams trying to defend their territory and capture valuable resources. On the individual level, the player’s tasks in PvP will be action-focused. For example, special ways to kill the enemy (headshot etc), special type of victory (all the key items collected) or special actions (like survive the entire battle etc).

RPS: You’ve explained that the game is going to be free-to-play, but can you go into any more detail about how players will be able to spend money in the game?

Yavorsky: The monetization system is still being developed, obviously, so I can’t go into too much detail at this point. The general idea is to provide the players with options to make their game experience more comfortable. This relates to things like faster character leveling-up, more advanced player stats availability, some unique items etc. Just to be clear, we are not supporters of the monetization model which leads to pay2win tactics. So the paid bonuses will mainly save the player’s time on routine actions, allowing him to get more fun from the game.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

Perhaps my returning to STALKER repeatedly is unfair. Vostok are not making a STALKER style game, and it is certainly no sequel. As a free MMOFPS it no doubt will appeal to an entirely different audience – and you won’t be able to play it offline. That said, it does seem to sing much of the same song. The ideas and references are so similar, and the atmosphere and environment is clearly one that is being resampled by the same art team. Comparisons are going to be impossible to avoid, even though the projects will likely end up being chalk and cheese in terms of overall structure and mechanics. No single player FPS ever really feels or operates like a multiplayer one.

Nonetheless I’m enormously (perhaps even unrealistically) optimistic about Survarium, not least because multiplayer games have always been my thing, and I delight in seeing anyone tackle ideas more interesting than deathmatch, no matter how that is is diversified and complicated. Survarium’s notions of territory control, co-operation and competition in this kind of environment, and with these kinds of exploration and survival goals, well, that’s even closer to the Roadside Picnic zone idea that the original game. For the Stalker faithful, though, multiplayer was never really something that mattered. Stalker games were more about getting away from that thing as a loner in the wilderness, and despite the co-op and Free play, I don’t really see that being the case here. Mods too, seem unlikely to work in the same way, if at all. There are going to be some disappointed voices, no doubt.

But we shouldn’t discount the direction that Vostok are moving in. They’re making a provocative and unusual game within a landscape that is dominated by a lack of imagination, and I sense this will be a fascinating alternative to the big budget free MMOFPS such as Firefall, which will no doubt become a focus of attention in 2013. There’s no reason to imagine this won’t be one of the most interesting games of 2013. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


  1. popej says:

    How I love thee STALKER.

    I just can’t bring myself to get excited about a F2P MMO though. I dislike other people in online computer games these days and the original STALKER games were almost the perfect remedy to that!

    I Can’t help but feel that the developers are missing the point.

    • GernauMorat says:

      I hear you mate! I hope the mmo does well, but it holds no real interest for me either. STALKER are probably the most immersive games I’ve ever played – they make me want to suspend my disbelief. Plus they are bloody scary in places

      • mckertis says:

        ” I hope the mmo does well”

        I read it as “i hope the mmo dies well”.

    • Narzhul says:

      Neither can I. And not just F2P MMO, but any MMO.

      So many of these things keep popping up, but it all just ends up a big pile of who cares for me.

      • philbot says:

        I personally don’t mind MMO’s, (i.e. I enjoy PS2 alot) but developers/publishers need to ditch it and start making great single player instead. Free to plays are either expensive or very time consuming (or both) to play, and the market is already being saturated by them. As soon as I read F2P i lost interest, moved on too. :( It held so much promise too.

        • Azdeus says:

          I like PS2 aswell, great fun sometimes. But what I really like, as is evident by the hundreds of hours I’ve played the Stalker series, is singleplayer experience.
          Free Play mode? I’m oh so glad that game developers have finally figured out that the one thing I lacked in my solo gaming environment was lagg…

    • BattleXer says:

      Very much what I wanted to say.

      Another franchise going the F2P and MMO route. Don’t quite understand why a demand for being able to play a game in co-op with friends (which in itself is understandable) automatically translates into “we hear you and give you this MMO instead”.

      Whatever happened to ‘optional’ – like either online, or LAN OR single player?

      • Azdeus says:

        Then they won’t have total control of their software, if it’s online-tied they don’t have to worry about piracy at all. I suppose.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      My reaction to other people in my games:
      Get out of her, STALKER!

      • Skipperoo says:

        As the bishop said to the Stalker.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          The missing ‘e’ on the end of “here” does rather change the meaning of the sentence

          • The Random One says:

            “Vade retro, STALKER! Her body does not belong to thee!”
            “HISSSSSSSSS! Your mother griefs noobs in WoW!”

          • b1778297 says:

            Go and look at this

    • DarkFenix says:

      Same for me; ominous-looking pictures of a STALKER-esque game caught my interest, then those three terrible letters, MMO, completely destroyed it again.

      STALKER was great for its tension, atmosphere and immersion. I believe the two greatest killers of those traits are other players in general and MMO-oriented gameplay. Something tells me they don’t quite know what made STALKER good.

    • f1x says:

      I say lets give them a chance

    • Zogtee says:

      Why an MMOF2P game? It seems like an obvious question and I wish Jim would have asked it. What I get from the interview is that they have a lot of interesting ideas that would fit better in a singleplayer game, but they’re going to shoehorn it in somehow.


    • Rindan says:

      Neither F2P or MMO turn me off, but session based game play. Um. Like counter strike? Pass. Stalker was awesome because it was an interesting open world with a focus on exploration. You can F2P and MMO that, but you can’t make it session based. I’ll give it a try shot, but teamed based run and gun already has a huge amount of competition and I feel meh about that genera on a good day.

    • Stevostin says:

      +1. Maybe if one thousand of us do that +1, they’ll realize something is severely off in their thinking.

      First it’s absolutely legit to compare to STALKER when you see the screenshots. They’re just very, very STALKER, and quite fantastic BTW. So as they ackowledge the expectation for that kind of visuals, they can’t ignore the rest.

      Second I am not entirely against MMO as long as it’s DayZ MMO and not GW2 MMO. ie a strong effort so that MMO component doesn’t kill the mood. Why no question about that BTW ? That’s clearly the most sensible one, imagine Stalker with a gen chat asking to go farm some +4 penis anomaly, sell roubles or comments on Britney Spears new awful bikini shots.

      I think the group PvE will probably kill the mode as well. L4D is a fun game but has so little mood in it. But…. maybe…

      Now an open world PvP, that would be interesting, and that’s precisely what they don’t have. Sad.

      Also, a lot of dangerous gameplay ideas like individual objective in a team deathmatch or exploring lore in a group pve, as if if wouldn’t instantly turn into farming, with some player insulting the slow idiots who actually stop to read the logs. Nice on paper but such high chances to fail.

      Then we have, yeah, a pseudo single player mode – but without NPC. NPC are fare better than player. They can sit around a fire and play guitar. Human player just suck at this, all they know is to get naked and dance.

      Then of course it will be free to play, so expect the dumbest of the players.

      Well here’s my guess : its MMOFPS FTP because at the time of finding money, that was the business model ignorant investors were seeking. This will be a massive mistake for that game. Vostok, be smart, keep on pretending you’re doing the part that got you the investor money, then make a cool single mode out of it, and make pay for it. Who knows, once we finished it, we may be very happy to expand the experience in a MMO context. But starting there ? No thanks.

      In the meantime, I’am so much more interested in Sir, You Are Being Hunted. The game that gets it. And it’s sad, because those screens are magnificent.

    • F33bs says:

      Same here. Replaying Call of Pripyat now and it’s a shame they aren’t getting another chance to perfect the series. F2P MMO is a daft direction to go in, seems to me.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      I Can’t help but feel that the developers are missing the point.

      And it’s such a big, fat, fluorescent point too.

      A couple days ago, the developers asked in their facebook page which game mode the fans were more excited about. Last time I checked, the freeroam mode (i.e.: the closest this thing gets to a single player campaign) had over 400 votes, which was about twice as much as the coop mode had, which in turn had something like 10 times more votes than PVP.

  2. EBass says:

    Hate to preach the same tune, but I can’t rachet up any interest for this either. Seeing as its F2P I’ll no doubt give it a whack, but would kill for a proper Stalker game.

  3. jellydonut says:

    Too hand-holdy and doesn’t seem to decide what it actually is. Is it a co-op game? Is it Stalker Online? Is it yet another DayZ coat-tail-grabber? (no)

    I’ll wait for DayZ standalone and play the shit out of that instead.

  4. Jhoosier says:

    I’m sad that this isn’t more like STALKER. When it said the focus would be on fighting other players rather than fighting AI, I think my heart broke a little.

    On the other hand, what they’re trying to make sounds ok from a more action, PvP-oriented perspective.

  5. BobbyDylan says:

    MMO? Pass.

  6. Yosharian says:

    “free-to-play MMOFPS”

    No thanks

  7. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Put me down for the STALKER disappointed misanthropic faithful too.

    Hopefully they will make the engine and assets available to modders. Hope Vostock do well though

    • Azdeus says:

      Allowing mods in a F2P MMOFPS? I seriously doubt it.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        No I mean freedom to create entirely new games with the engine. Like cryengine

  8. Barberetti says:

    “in the Free play mode what we have planned is expected to give the players that ‘lone wolf’ kind of feel, where he is going to load off on a big map with a task to reach a certain checkpoint and the need to survive against the anomalies, mutants and other players on the way.”

    Sounds right up my alley. can’t wait!

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Hurrah! This comment section was looking a bit grim. Glad someone likes the sound of survarium!

      • Barberetti says:

        Heh, yeah, I was thinking the same thing when I posted :D

        I like the sound of the part I quoted at least. When I used to play Quake a lot, I always thought it would be cool to have a few players after me as well as the mobs, traps and environment to worry about, as the mob AI in games back then was pretty fucking ropey, and therefore simple to deal with. Players are a lot more unpredictable, and hence (for me at least) more interesting to fight.

        If I get to experience something like that with this game, and have the added bonus of not having to pay for it, then I’m not seeing a problem. Either way, I’m not the sort of person to dismiss a game before even trying it out.

    • Stevostin says:

      … with no NPC. NPC were pretty important in STALKER, especially the procedural, random part of it. I expect it to be a huge regression to SoC. Unless they do realise 90% really in a situation to buy them stuff will only do it for that mode, and start to makes sure it’s at leas as good as SoC (which is so good I’d happily pay for that).

  9. ran93r says:

    Advanced player stats availability but not supporters of pay2win?
    Sorry but on paper that does not compute.

    Still, I’m curious about this.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      I assumed when they said stats they meant stats tracking like number of headshots and score per minute and the like.

  10. The V Man says:

    The ‘MMO’ and “F2P’ labels didn’t kill my hope for this, but the mention of it being ‘session based’ absolutely did. I don’t like picking a mission from a menu and being dropped into a world with only that objective to work towards. I wanted a huge open world to do things in, but I suppose I was hoping for more S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and less….this.

  11. Palindrome says:

    As soon as someone mentions F2P the hivemind goes mental. If a pay to win scenario is avoided there is nothing at all wrong with F2P, especially if the base game is free.

    The premise sounds interesting, although I will be avoiding the PvP aspects. 30 player PvE missions with multiple concurrent objectives sounds like they will be interesting if nothing else and large ‘single player’ maps is how STALKER was structured in the first place.

    I am optimistic that this will be worth playing but only time will tell if it lives up to its expectations.

    • Stevostin says:

      “there is nothing at all wrong with F2P”

      You mean, set aside the population that plays F2P ? It’s a population of demo tryer. I was one of them when I tried Planet Side 2. I was not commited, and neither were the guy around, so the whole thing felt bland.

      The only F2P that works is that when you win a new item in game, you have to pay to access it. By doing so you’re collecting what you indeed won on the game level, and ackowledging you’re quite into it and ok to do your part of the money feedback.

      I for one take my pride of always wearing the default stuff even when I am a 400 h + player. Just to show I am not a superficial idiot. I’d like to make donation, but it’s not available. But no, don’t want a new hat or unfair gameplay advantage (including “comfort” stuff, which also pay 2 win. Comfort stuff is litteraly +25% speed progression).

    • Jad says:

      My problem with F2P is the “free” part is not an enticement. I lack time far more than I lack money. If Vostok released a $50-$60 Stalker 2 I would buy it with no hesitation — I might even pre-order it. I loved the other games (well, I never played Clear Sky, but the other two), and if it was made clear that they were trying to make a similar game only improved in the usual sequel ways, I would put my money down secure in the knowledge that I would probably enjoy myself, and that the time I put into it would not be wasted. In addition, with the standard single-player design of the game I would likely be able to tell if I did not like it pretty quickly, and would then just stop playing.

      With a F2P game, I feel like there are far more questions raised. Am I not enjoying the game because I don’t have high-enough level gear and should I either grind to get it or pay money to jump ahead? Is it because, as Stevostin says, everyone around me is less committed to the game because it’s free? If I put money in to skip parts of the game, will I miss something that I should have played? And if the grindy parts are truly worthless and skip-able, then why is Vostok wasting development time working on them?

      Lastly, if I go down the road of paying money, will I need to become a “whale”, will I need to ultimately put in $100+ to get everything I would want out of the game?

      If I could be guaranteed that if I paid $50 upfront for Survivarium, I would get everything I would get from a normal boxed game — that is, everything the dev team worked on, short of substantial DLC/expansion pack-style content — and that it would all be well balanced and free of unnecessary grind and with well-paced weapon and item progression, then I would consider it. But instead I think we’ll be getting a F2P game, with all the terrible design decisions that promises.

    • LJFHutch says:

      I can certainly appreciate the brilliance of the system from a business point of view, just not as a player.

  12. sneetch says:

    “PvE with co-op missions and the Free play mode”

    Both sound good to me but I can’t really think of anything I’d want to pay for there. I’m sure they’ll come up with something but it’s a difficult balancing act there.

  13. Kamos says:

    The story follows what the majority chooses to do. Must be very immersive for the guy who chose differently.

  14. suibhne says:

    “So the paid bonuses will mainly save the player’s time on routine actions, allowing him to get more fun from the game.”

    No, no, no no NO. That’s exactly what monetization should NOT do. I don’t want to have to suffer through “routine” actions if I don’t pay, because “routine” = “grind” = “non-interesting”. At that point the price tag becomes my dignity.

    • Josh W says:

      It’s true, if they allow you to bypass survival with payments, and make payments harsh to compensate, you basically end up with “pay2eat”, I do enough of that in real life!

      Although on the other hand there’s always a bit of masochism in survival games, in the sense that it is immensely satisfying to play a game where you have to do various kinds of work for yourself in order to survive, and perhaps allowing others to pay for shortcuts is a way to make the game even more brutal in that aspect, because those people who can’t hack it can always pay.

      But the alternative price should never be simply “time”, it should be trouble; having to go into radiation soaked areas to find resources, ambushing animals and skinning them, finding food. All of these things can be interesting and require skill, not just perseverance, and they should have enough “give” in them to not be simply punishing, but something that you can get lucky with, based on the systems of the game.

  15. Iskariot says:

    I am not at all interested in MMO. I’d rather start replaying all my STALKER games.
    I hate immersion destroying online interaction. It’s fine for a simple storyless shooter, but a game like this in an MMO setting? No thanks.

  16. Vigil says:

    I just feel like this sounds horribly generic, in a way. Team-based-objectives in a limited area? No persistent open-world play? I think the whole “post-apocalyptic world” – Theme lends itself much better for exploration-based gameplay rather then just “shoot zombies with a friend”.

  17. Shooop says:

    Well now you have more than enough information to write this off as shit.

  18. DaftPunk says:

    If they can make the shooting exactly the same as in stalker games,and big maps plus the creepy athmoshpere i can see myself enjoying this.

  19. MellowKrogoth says:

    The only way I imagine a STALKER game working as an MMO is if they make something a bit like DayZ (i.e. with Permadeath) crossed with Planetside 2, except of course in the Zone and around the Zone itself. Allow people to smuggle in and out of the Zone. Make the Zone a living hell with blowouts changing the location of anomalies, and you can play out the actual stories you encountered in quests in STALKER: a group of people going out on expeditions only to be trapped in a time/space loop, and stuff like that. Just add the option to abandon a character when it looks like he’s utterly screwed, and mount another expedition to recover (hopefully) his stuff :) .

    One of the big draws in STALKER was the mystery at the center of the Zone. You probably need a lot of randomized events and several possible “endings” if you want that in an MMO, otherwise experienced players start metagaming everything i.e. triggering events when it advantages them and spoiling stuff for new players. Or you could do without an ending and occasionally let a player reach the “wish-granter” and come back as a Monolith faction member, sent on suicide missions by a crazy inner voice.

  20. iainl says:

    It could be fun, possibly. But MMO means no pausing and quitting when I want to stop, normally. F2P means either Pay2Win, despite what the person claimed, or Pay2Enjoy and the game is tedious grinding rubbish, which is even worse. I get enough rubbish on my phone with games that claim to be free, then start asking money to progress. Since I’ve locked out in-app purchases, that normally means time to uninstall.

  21. GameCat says:

    “Get out of here stalker!”

    And bring me full Roadside Picnic game adaptation, please.
    Without that all “factions” and “man/mutant-shooter” bits.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Go and look at this

      link to

      Weep. Weep and imagine that one day, BitComposer may grant your wish of rummaging in a chest in an abandoned, strangely lit building somewhere in a terrifying corner of the Ukraine, and finding one of those suits.

  22. motherpuncher says:

    I would hope that the free roaming portion of the game would be something similar to DayZ. I would also hope that people would not be quite so hostile.

    I think this game really has potential given the people that are developing it, but nothing seems very concrete at this time so we will just have to wait for the finished product.

  23. El_Emmental says:

    I’m mostly afraid of the F2P model, as iainl said Pay2Enjoy is just as bad, if not worst, than Pay2Win.

    They better monetize more content (like new areas/maps, missions/factions), like expansion packs.

    Why ?
    => we can all agree (more or less) on the worthiness/monetary-value/enjoyment-value of a content
    => we can never agree on the worthiness/monetary-value/enjoyement-value of time

    Why ?
    => In the game, we’re all players.
    => In the real world, we’re all different: jobs, age, family, etc.

    They should make a single “Basic Pack” (along with “Basic Plus Pack”, with a few more items and some hats) priced at $15 or $20 featuring the biggest chunk of the game and almost all vital items, allowing most player to “buy the game”.
    Then have some DLCs/expansion packs, if they want to enjoy more of that game.

    If they’re going for the Pay2Notgrind it won’t be a success, even if the actual gameplay is good.

    1) People have less and less time available (with their jobs, studies, and all the other games), and if they need to spent 2 hours of grinding per week, they’ll just won’t play it.

    2) People don’t have the time nor the motivation to decide/calculate what they should buy on the store. Trying to base your business model on exploiting that lack of prior research/calculations is a major error.

    When the information asymmetry is too strong, the other party will not contract, out of fear of the risks involved. Many people are gullible and will sign anyway, but “many” isn’t “most”, let alone “all”. If you lose half your potential customer-base right from the start, you’re gonna have a baaad day.

    Ripping your users off is bound to failure if you can’t produce a new game every 6 months, to exploit the novelty effect, to trick the gullible part of your customer-base.

    3) People are okay to pay to play, they’re not okay to pay without knowing if they’ll play (enjoy) it. The very role of an entertainment provider is selling an added value, and for the mainstream audience, a product that is ready to be consumed.

    If your product requires tedious prior work to be enjoyed, or an insane price ($100 to $200 to buy everything), you’re artificially depreciating the value of your product (= the game + only buying a few elements), in order to create an “enjoyment security” product, sold at an insane price.

    The trick of such F2P model would be getting all the rich users to pay $200, rather than getting 9 more (non-rich) users to pay $40.

    However, if your game requires a big userbase to be 1) enjoyable 2) socially-valued, you’ll need the low-purchasing-power users.

    => Survivarium is only enjoyable with enough players to play with/form gangs/interact, and is a rather-unknown project not backed by a top3 publisher (so far, it seems they’re self-published…).

    To get these users, you either aim for the teenagers (who have enough time on their hands to grind) or the poor users (= people who can’t spend $200 on your game).

    In Survivarium’s case, it’s very unlikely it’s going to easily be a big thing among US/EU teenagers: a FPS about an environment, observation and (actual) survival – no overblown heroism, patriotism and sensationalism. So they still need the low-purchasing-power users to be the base.

    The core of the playerbase will be made by $200-players, the “hardcore” fans (spending $30-$50 at best), and the few teenagers grinding all day (who won’t spend more than $10 when borrowing a credit card).

    They need to have a proper business model for these “hardcore” fans.

    If, when I spend $30 on the game, the actual enjoyment-value I have to pay is $30+prior researches (time+stress), estimated at, let’s say, $20-$30 (nb: free time IS precious and rare), you’re left with a $50-$60 purchase.

    If the enjoyment-value of these $30 purchases isn’t *at least* $50, the game is overpriced.

    => Meanwhile, if there’s a “Basic Pack” priced at $30 at that you can easily see its value (ingame-worth + enjoyment-worth), you’ll pay the equivalent of $32 (price+time).

    For the same price paid by the user, going into your company ($30), the game experience value that you have to provide is closer to something you can manage ($32) rather that something you’re very rarely achieve ($50).

    By being realistic about what you can provide to your users, their satisfaction will go up (= positive reputation + more later purchases of DLCs/expansion packs), and the better word-of-mouth/reviews will result in more users joining your playerbase (= bigger customerbase).

    Especially since that title is going to be released in Europe and in the US: only the Asia market is used to F2P and full micro-monetization.

    Europeans and ‘muricans still want to pay once to get “a game”, and maybe pay again twice or thrice (DLCs/expansion packs) for more gameplay.

    • LJFHutch says:

      “If they’re going for the Pay2Notgrind it won’t be a success, even if the actual gameplay is good.”

      There have already been some very successful F2P games following that exact model. Grind hooks people very effectively it seems.

  24. HelenSmithe22 says:

    If you think Roger`s story is unimaginable,, two weaks-ago my sister in law basically also actually earnt $6489 just sitting there a twenty hour week from home and the’re friend’s mother-in-law`s neighbour did this for five months and brought home over $6489 part time on there mac. use the steps from this website,