Ever wonder how many World of Warcraft or Ragnarok Online subscribers there are who hardly even play the game but are still forced to pay the same as everyone else? EA wants to change that.
APB ("All Points Bulletin") is a brand new massively multiplayer online game from Realtime Worlds that EA will be launching next month. The game is an interesting hybrid between standard action game and typical MMO.
There are plenty of areas in the game, called "social districts" where players can customize their characters and interact with other users in the virtual area. But to get to the meat of the game, the "action districts," gamers must pay a fee. This is standard practice amongst large-scale online games.
What isn't standard, though, is the pricing structure EA will introduce. First off, right off the bat, people who buy a new copy of the game will get 50 hours in the action districts for free.
When those 50 hours are up, they're then given a choice: pay a monthly $9.99 fee to keep access to those areas, like most MMOs, or pay in hourly increments. Perhaps you only plan on logging onto the game for about 20 hours a month. Why pay the same price as someone who's going to be there 20 hours a day? So EA will let gamers buy 20-hour packs for $6.99. Once the time is up, they'll be prompted to buy more time.
Also, unlike other MMOs, users can get a discount for purchasing 90- or 180-day commitments upfront. Adding that flexibility is something that gamers will surely appreciate.
APB will hit stores and digital distribution services on June 29. The base product will cost around $50.