Bless Online Is Going Free To Play
I honestly didn’t think I’d have to do another Bless Online video ever again.. I figured I was done with Bless, and could move onto criticizing- I mean, covering Bless Unleashed instead.
But Neowiz did what I said they’d do back in July.. they announced in a large press release that with the full release of Bless Online on October 23rd, Bless Online will officially go free to play.
One hundred percent free to play. No fees – no purchases required at all to play the game.. even though up until this point you were required to buy the game to play it.
This is a big “Fuck you” to all of Bless’ fans as they’ve clearly showed they have absolutely no regards for the playerbase whatsoever.
They told the playerbase they would be going buy to play to avoid any pay to win issues and to assure the playerbase they were listening to their concerns.
Then they introduced the absurd $200 Founder’s Packs.. which they quickly cut the price of to save face after experiencing severe backlash from the community.
Yet the game itself.. remained buy to play indefinitely. There was no “free” option for players.
There was no way to play the game without purchasing it, prompting upwards of 30,000 players to purchase and log in to the game within the first hours of it launching into early access.
I don’t have exact numbers because it’s impossible to tell, but the fact that there were over 30,000 players on day one, and after the headstart there were tens of thousands of new players.. we can estimate that there were close to, if not over a hundred thousand sales of the game.
Which is disgusting, considering the mess of a launch the game had.
But this article isn’t to discuss its shortcomings of where the game failed.
Instead, it’s to inform players – both returning players, and new players alike, that Bless Online is adopting a free to play model, and discuss what it’s offering when it launches later this month.
Let’s start off first by addressing the fact that they’re claiming they can’t wait to “show you the improvements and content we have been working on for the launch”.
The content they’ve “been working on” is content other versions of the game have had for how long again? Yeah, and the “improvements” they’re claiming.. we all know exactly how well their “improvements” end up in reality, don’t we?
Next, they’re claiming that “invaluable feedback and support” from the community has lead them to believe that a free to play model is the model that will “provide the best experience for players”.
That is complete and utter bullshit.
They believed that the buy to play model was the best option for providing players the best experience and after their game dipped to an average of 500 players they suddenly came to the realization that free to play was the way to go.
Of course it was! When nobody is left to object or even care.. why not change business model and appeal to a larger audience? Give those poor free to play gamers a taste of the game in hopes players might spend a few dollars..
And knowing the thirsty playerbase, this is likely to work. I’m sorry, it just frustrates me to no end knowing they’re going to go on to continue scamming more players – some of them even being new to the genre.
To reward players that have supported the game through purchasing it during early access, players will receive in-game benefits based on the version of the game they purchased.
Players that purchased the Base Game will receive a 90 Day Premium Membership + a couple costumes.
Players that purchased the Standard Edition will receive all of the above, plus a mount skin and weapon skin.
Players that purchased the Deluxe Edition will receive 180 days of Premium Membership, all of the above, plus a pet skin.
Players that purchased the Collector’s Edition will receive a Lifetime Premium Membership, and all of the above.
So.. what we’re looking at is a few cosmetic items and a Premium Membership as a “gift of appreciation”.
They hope that players enjoy the rewards listed above for their “immeasurable support”. It is thanks to everyone that purchased Bless Online after all that they’re all still employed and working on this game.
So good work, everyone! You’re paying to keep these guys in business!
Regarding content they’re adding with the official launch of the game, a new 10-man raid called “Patala Raid” – yes, the name really is that basic, is being added with 6 bosses and both a minimum level of 45, and gear score of 8913 being required to enter.
Items dropped include various armor and legendary weapons.
They are also adding new Halloween-themed costumes for players – which, admittedly, look pretty cool. There are also a few in-game quests for players to participate in in the spirit of Halloween.
.. and that’s essentially what we have to look forward to with the full release of the game.
Also, did they introduce the Mystic into the game already? I don’t believe they’ve added the Mystic into the game yet, right? Were they not supposed to prepare the class for release upon the official release of the game?
If the Mystic hasn’t been added into the game yet and isn’t being added with the launch and shift to a free to play model, then.. when do they plan on adding it?
I’d actually forgotten the Mystic even existed until just now. I can’t find any mention of the Mystic’s impending release.. did they scrap it or is it in-game and I’m just missing the announcement where they added it?
Regardless, what we’re getting at the end of this month when the game leaves early access and officially launches is an iteration of Bless Online that is exactly the same as we have.. with a raid.
And probably more pay to win aspects inserted to accompany the shift of business model.
Now, I can understand why Neowiz are going the free to play route, however, this is an insult to every single person that bought the game, especially those of us that continued playing even despite 95% of the playerbase abandoning it.
Neowiz release the game in a barely playable state, go on to have hopeful players pay for a game that had the same optimization issues and bugs that every region’s release had before it, and then throw it in their faces?
That’s the sign of a very, very desperate company trying to milk the community of MMO lovers for every cent they can before they inevitably shut the game down and it fades into memory.. kinda like that other MMORPG released last year.
I can’t remember its name though.. something like.. Revolution? Rev.. Rev-something.
Anyway, I think this is a really pathetic move to make. I knew it was coming – I even called them out earlier this year stating that they’d probably go free to play when the game tanked, but people wrote that off as me bitching and slandering the game.
I just can’t believe we as a community fell for it. I also can’t believe that they’re not only going free to play, but they’re also releasing Bless Unleashed for the Xbox One as well.
I know, Bless Unleashed is being handled by “a different team”, supposedly, but at the end of the day, the game is still being developed by the same people that worked on Bless Online, and Neowiz still own the Bless IP.
So Neowiz has completely disregarded their playerbase, they’ve used us for money, and ultimately decided on making an entirely new game.. while turning Bless Online into a temporary cash cow until Bless Unleashed launches.
I gotta say, Neowiz, well done. You played the MMO community. We were all hopeful that Bless would be something that could hold us over until the next big MMORPG.. boy were we wrong.
That should be a lesson to all of us: Don’t trust gaming companies when they promise things that they cannot possibly deliver.
Go in to games a little pessimistic, because companies like Gameforge, My.com, Nexon, Aeria Games and the like continue to screw us over with port after port of Eastern MMO.
I just wanted to let you guys know exactly what was going on. I wanted to keep you all informed of Bless’ progress, and wanted to let everyone know not to support Neowiz when they transition Bless Online over to a free to play model.
It is not worth it. Neowiz do not care about us. They want to make as much as they can before finally shutting the game down for good and pursuing Bless Unleashed.
Please, please. I implore you to be smart and not fall for what Neowiz are selling us. Nothing good for the community or the playerbase comes from this.
Just.. boycott Neowiz’s shit. Don’t fall for it. We’re not that desperate for an MMO.