Blue Protocol dev talks monetisation differences between regions
If there's one thing we've learned in recent years, it's that "free-to-play" no longer feels like a dirty word. The best free-to-play games out there offer plenty of fun without spending a penny, and Amazon is looking to join that crowd with the colourful, MMO-style action game, Blue Protocol.
With so many gacha games selling characters and weapons, we asked Mike Zadorojny, Blue Protocol's Franchiser Leader at Amazon Games, about the challenges of making a fair system for an MMO focused on action and cooperative play.
- Interested in Blue Protocol? Be sure to check out our hands-on preview.
How will Blue Protocol be monetised?
"We're gonna be talking a lot more as we get closer to closed beta, just around the corner," Zadorojny admits.
"There are a couple of different ways [Blue Protocol will be monetised]," he says.
"One is the 'Amazon way' where we are offering Founders Packs, so very similar to what we've done with Lost Ark and New World," he says, explaining that early adopters can benefit from additional cosmetics and skins.
"The second is that there's a season pass that's in the game, very similar to the models that you'll see in traditional online service games today.
There's a free one that gets rewards periodically and there's a paid version that just gives you more rewards at a more regular clip".
Blue Protocol's gacha system explained
Touching on the game's gacha system of random drops, Zadorojny explained that the team is paying close attention to how different audiences interact with them.
"We do have a random cosmetic system, very similar to gacha models Japan," Zadorojny says.
"But we've made some changes to it because we understand that Western players approach these types of monetisation models very differently than say, how they approach it in Japan or Korea."
"We've added a hard cap, so after X number of pulls, you're guaranteed to get a top-rank item.
"And then, just like Japan, we have a secondary system as well where if you get a cosmetic item that you don't want, you can convert it to a secondary currency called BPP"
Zadorojny says BPP can be spent at a unique shop with specific items that can be chosen, as well as utility items like extra character and inventory slots.
"Fair and fun"
"The goal from our perspective is that we wanna make the monetisation model fair and fun," Zadorojny explains.
"If you're buying, and I'm not, we do not necessarily have a core difference in terms of the overall power of play, it's going to come down to skill.
"That's gonna matter more than did you buy a hammer or did I not?"
Those cosmetics, Zadorojny says, will be for hairstyles, outfits, and more.
"If people want to go into that, that's an option, but it doesn't necessarily detract from your experience in the game or my experience from the game."