Bless Online Is Dead.. Should It Go Free To Play To Survive?

Should Bless Online Go Free To Play?

I know a lot of you guys either hate the game by now or believe I do. Contrary to popular belief and opinion, I do not. I hate how the game was handled, but I do not in any way hate the game.
I truly hoped the launch would go over well and am very disappointed that it didn’t, as that’s one less game I get to play.

With the game barely scratching 4,000 concurrent players during peak hours, a solid 85% drop since the game launched less than 6 weeks ago, it’s clear that Bless Online is about as good as dead.
I didn’t want to say it, but I keep getting people leave me messages on Youtube videos, through Twitter, Facebook and Discord, and.. I finally caved.
Yes, Bless Online’s population numbers have dropped down to numbers where even white knights of the game have begun to notice.. there’s just nobody around to play with.

So, with a stagnating playerbase, how does Neowiz plan on keeping Bless relevant?
I’m well aware that the game launched as a buy to play game, but many MMORPGs over the years have relaunched with a free to play business model.
Aion, Rift, TERA, Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Elder Scrolls Online, Guild Wars 2, WildStar, EVE Online, Star Wars The Old Republic and a handful of others all launched with either buy to play or pay to play models and transitioned over to free to play.
The majority of them found additional success when they did, often increasing in population several times over.

However, several of the aforementioned MMOs also happened to go pay to win after changing business model, something fans learned of, reviled, and inevitably abandoned the game due to.

Now I’m not saying Bless Online is going to go free to play. However, I know that Neowiz are completely capable of converting their business model over to free to play.
They have a cash shop, and are capable of offering a VIP membership, likely in the vein of what TERA did to offer players additional XP, gold and other fancy do-dads.

Over the course of this month I daresay the game is going to lose another 50% of its playerbase. The question then becomes, “Can Bless Online survive with only a few thousand players?”
Granted, the reason the game’s population is in a constant decline is due to quite a plethora of reasons. I actually saw a Reddit post that summed it up quite well.

Terrible launch without a test period, dupe bugs, hacks, balance issues, damage nerfs, missing action camera, missing content, server crashes and constant maintenance, optimization issues, dungeons with insignificant drop rate, server population issues, inability to play with friends at launch, poor translations, premium items being soulbound to 1 character, general errors and bugs, queue times for.. everything, and most importantly.. the economy.
The economy in-game is just wrecked right now. It is so difficult to make gold, and with the little gold you do make, you’re required to spend ridiculous amounts just to progress.

Which, in all honesty, brings me to a website I use to actually get around that point. It’s a website that sells boosting along with in-game currency services.
They don’t just cover Bless though, they cover various PC MMORPGs along with a metric ton of mobile MMORPGs as well.
I’m traditionally weary of websites like this but I can personally tell you that the team behind it are very responsive and great people to deal with. I couldn’t recommend them enough.
If you’re looking to be able to afford literally anything in-game without hassle.. they’re the way to go.

Which, in all honesty, brings me to a website I use to actually get around that point. It’s a website that sells items along with in-game currency services.
They don’t just cover Bless though, they cover various PC MMORPGs like TERA, Closers, Soul Worker, ESO, Final Fantasy XIV along with a metric ton of other MMORPGs as well.
I’m traditionally weary of websites like this but I can personally tell you that the team behind it are very responsive and great people to deal with. I couldn’t recommend them enough.
If you’re looking to be able to afford literally anything in-game without hassle.. they’re the way to go.

I know some of what remains of the playerbase claim that it is still capable of recovering from this if they learn from their mistakes upon the official “launch” of the game at the end of the year, but gamers’ impressions are hard to change.
Look what happened with WildStar. They released countless updates, fixes, improvements.. they made the game into a game worth playing, but people never forgave them for ruining it the first time.

If Bless is ever to attempt a recovery.. especially once it officially launches late this year, then I believe its best chance is re-launching under a free to play business model.
I know. That means the game will inevitably go pay to win. But you have to wonder what is worse? Having a dead buy to play MMORPG or a potentially pay to win, populated free to play MMORPG like Blade and Soul?
I mentioned Blade and Soul because everyone knows it’s heavily pay to win, yet people still play it. Granted, its population has declined quite steadily as well, but that just leaves room for another free to play MMORPG to take its place.

I never intended on this being long-winded or drawn out. Therefore, I’ll go ahead and leave everyone with a final thought.. I believe if Neowiz and the remaining playerbase want Bless Online to live.. it might be in its best interest to go free to play.
Neowiz, if that is your inevitable plan in the future – to milk fans with a buy to play model then shift to free to play to further fund the game.. at least have the common courtesy to not go pay to win.
Thanks.

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