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Sub Be Gone: Pay Once For Perpetuum's Robo-Biff

Jim was so taken with the robotic land-grab MMO Perpetuum that he wrote the world’s bestest diary about his time in it. It was spread over five months, which just goes to show how much it grabbed him. That was in 2012, and the game is not only still around, but is about to land on Steam. With a potential pile of new customers, the developers have taken the decision to shift from a monthly subscription to a one-off payment of 28.99 USD/EUR that’s “augmented with optional in-game purchases of previously unavailable services and cosmetic upgrades.” Hmm.

Current and past customers won’t be locked out, at least.

As a thank you for supporting us over the years and helping us to get to this point, all players who had at least 3 months of game time ever(!) on their account by April 2 will receive Perpetuum for free. The 3 months can be anywhere in the past, reach into the future, be continuous or intermittent, doesn’t matter. We check for redeemed game time codes or monthly subscriptions.

As is usually the case when a game gains purchases of this nature, there will be a new currency introduced. Perpetuum already has the EP system, which accrues as you play (and for three days after you log out) and allows you to extend your character’s abilities an all kinds of areas. Alongside that will be Perpetuum Points, that you can purchase with real money and spend on EP boosts, resets, downgrades and renames. It’ll also eventually cover robo-paint and other cosmetic items.

It’s all very standard, but it also has a bit of a whiff about it as well. I’m so used to F2P now that someone asking for payment for an online game feels anomalous, and I wonder why they couldn’t make it free and be supported by the payment scheme that boosts the rest? One-off payment and in-game purchases has a strange ring to it, and feels like the first step on the road to an inevitable F2P model.

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Craig Pearson

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