GON: So when you finally launch you’re planning to be free for everyone to play, but will you offer the same sort of scaling cosmetic packs that you can buy as a general thank you to the developers, sort of thing?
Chris: It’s likely. We’ve got the microtransaction shop coming at launch, where you can spend the credit that people are pre-purchasing. The packs all represent dollar values of credit, you know, if you spend a thousand dollars you get a thousand dollars of credit and all the other stuff. So we will obviously let people actually spend that credit on the microtransaction stuff rather than sell it for real cash, as they’ve already pre-paid for it. But I expect that because of the popularity of these supporter packs that include physical goods, we will come up with a new set of them for open beta. There’s a lot of discussion about what we could put in them and it hasn’t been decided yet, but it’s likely.
GON: I don’t suppose you’re going to go down the Diablo III route of an auction house to support your game financially?
Chris: We don’t intend to have an auction house, no! (laughs)
GON: Speaking of that, how do you guys feel with the launch of Diablo III and Torchlight II this year? How did it affect your player numbers? Do you see a fluctuation in the player base when these games come out?
Chris: In general they are positive. It’s very interesting to look at the difference between, say, Diablo III and Guild Wars 2. When Diablo III and Torchlight II launched we received press coverage because we were similar. If they did like Diablo III they’d discuss us in a negative way, and if they didn’t like Diablo III they’d discuss us in a positive way. But either way we’re getting discussed, we’re getting users and numbers, which is great. There was a big exodus of people that got sick of Diablo III and came over to us, which is awesome. So I’m very glad that Diablo III did come out and that it sold so many units because that really helped.
But when something like Guild Wars 2 came out, people didn’t discuss Path of Exile at the same time as it because, well, it’s not really the same sort of game. But they sure played Guild Wars 2, reducing our player numbers by a little bit. It’s better that competitors come out, because then there’s some discussion around it rather than a somewhat-different game that people will go and play, because they’ve been waiting for years to play it.