Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited Interview

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Atari
Developer:Turbine
Release Date:2006-02-28
Genre:
  • Massively Multiplayer,Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
GB: What's the current status on the Half Orc and Half Elf races? Any chance we might see these sometime in the near future, too?

Kate: We have no current release dates for those races, but as they remain near and dear to my heart, I hope we can add them to the game in the not too distant future.


GB: DDO currently spans five live servers. Do you plan on expanding the number of servers to accommodate any additional people Eberron Unlimited might bring in? Why or why not?

Kate: This is something we are looking into. In addition to potentially expanding the number of servers/worlds, we will be adding capacity to the existing live worlds. Performance improvements will also allow us to host more players per server. Between those two changes, each of our currently live worlds will be able to hold many more active players, and we'll be lighting new servers as needed down the road.


GB: Are there plans to put DDO: Eberron Unlimited on retail shelves to help drum up additional interest in the game? If so, when might we expect to see boxed copies and what exactly will they contain?

Kate: Because the game is now free to download and play, we do not have a retail release planned. Anyone who buys a DDO Stormreach box will still get additional value with that (including a month of subscription and then 4 character slots if they choose to move to the free model). We may release a retail version at some point, and that will most likely include a bundle of adventure packs and a grant of Turbine Points in addition to the client.


GB: One would presume that Eberron Unlimited is being rolled out to bring in more revenue than the game is currently generating. What if many of your former subscribers switch to F2P and/or the microtransaction system doesn't catch on? Are you at all concerned that this change could ultimately backfire?

Kate: We feel that this is a great business model for the game we have, and we think converting to a model that allows players to pay at the rate that is most comfortable to them (especially in these tough economic times) will be good for the health of our overall business. Research has shown that the number one barrier to playing MMOs is the subscription, and we've made so many changes that open the game up to the more casual gamer market, that we are very optimistic that this will allow us to continue to invest in and grow DDO for many years to come.


GB: There have been plenty of rumors that console versions of Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online are being worked on. And, well, making the game free-to-play and adding a DLC-like microtransaction system seems like it would be a reasonable first step in bringing DDO to a console. Can you give us any comment on whether or not a console version of either game might eventually become a reality?

Kate: Not at this time :) We'll be talking more about our console plans later in the year.


Thanks Kate!