The rise and fall of both 38 Studios and its MMO Project Copernicus was well documented to say the least, but exactly how the game’s subscription service was going to be structured never came to light. Now, thanks to the Boston Magazine, we’ve learned there was never a plan to charge players for its service at all.
“We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO. That was one of our big secrets,” Schilling told Schwartz of the Boston Magazine. “I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was gonna be the thing that, I think, shocked the world.”
Like most people developing massive RPGs that cost millions of dollars, the thought of making Copernicus a free-to-play experience wasn’t exactly appealing to studio founder Schilling. But, it didn’t take long for both the market and the investors involved with it to change his tune.
“You won’t find a more ardent opposition to free to play than me, and I went 180 degrees,” he said.
Other major MMOs like The Lord of the Rings Online and The Old Republic have been forced to drop their subscription fee in favor of higher profitability, but it sure would have been interesting to see such a high-profile game launch like that. Sadly, we’ll just have to imagine what the results would have been.
Would you have signed up for the game if it didn’t have a monthly fee? Are you sad it never had a chance to release? Let us know what you think in the comments below!