A recent job listing seemed to hint at a possible GaAs future for Ready at Dawn, the developer behind The Order: 1886 on PlayStation 4 and the not-so-successful DeFormers, which is going to shut down its Western servers rather soon.
According to co-founder Andrea Pessino, the studio is indeed hiring monetization experts to improve the profitability of its next efforts, but this won’t necessarily mean it is following the game as a service path going forward.
“We are not “chasing GaAs” or doing anything of the sort. We have a partnership with Tencent who will be publishing Deformers in China. They have loved the game from the first time they saw it, and we have been working on a revised version for the Chinese market for quite a while. Like virtually all games in that market it will be free to play, hence the need for designing a proper model for it,” he said on ResetEra.
“The game is looking amazing – tons of new stuff and a more targeted experience will hopefully deliver a game that the Chinese gamers really get into. Will it be successful? I have no idea – I hope so, but given the work that it’s being done and the amazing support Tencent is giving it at least we will know that it will have had a fair shot. I so love this game and the work our team has done on it, always have…”.
“Monetization design,” as unpleasant as that title sounds, is not inherently “evil” any more than any other model can be. If you give away a game for free you also have to design financials around it that make it sustainable. That does not mean that it is inherently exploitative, quite the opposite. You know what the difference is, I don’t need to explain it to anyone.”
As Andrea is Italian as me, I can’t help but wish him the best of luck for his future efforts at Ready at Dawn. And being a fan of single-player, story-based experiences, I hope to see the studio returning to that genre sooner rather than later.