Dopo una breve chiaccherata con Laralyn McWilliams, Creative Director di SOE, abbiamo appurato che, parlando di Free Realms, alla fine dell’anno saranno lanciati server localizzati nelle principali lingue europee, e presumibilmente anche in italiano. Inoltre la McWilliams ha sostenuto l’efficacia del sistema misto f2p con micro transazioni e sottoscrizioni, affermando che Free Realms è attualmente il primo gioco che ha entrambi i modelli economici attivi, e che in realtà il gioco presenta molti più contenuti free di quelli che hanno altri MMO simili. Incalzata sul fatto che FR non ha un end-game vero e proprio, ci ha fatto sapere che solo una piccola percentuali di utenti "hardcore" ha finora completato il cap per tutte le professioni, e del resto loro puntano molto di più sul casual player, che ama aggirarsi per il mondo di FR, godendosi l’avventura dell’esplorazione, senza particolari desideri di livellare a tutti i costi. Comunque presto saranno introdotti altri contenuti di alto livello per accontentare anche la parte più "competitiva" dell’utenza. Ha poi concluso promettendo presto l’introduzione di altri mini-games e l’espansione del trading Card, con nuovi NPC da battere.
Ecco comunque la versione originale:
GS: Do you have any plans to add European servers and localizations?
Absolutely! You’ll be able to see localized versions of Free Realms later this year.
GS: Don’t you think that, having a micro-transactions system like Station Cash, the balance between free contents and premium contents is not so perfect, considering the f2p nature of the game?
Free Realms is the first game I’ve seen that has both Membership AND micro-transactions, so we’re working out the balance between those and free play. It’s working pretty well right now, actually. There is a ton of free gameplay—more than most other free-to-play games with subscriptions—but the fact that you see things marked as Members Only as you explore the world makes you aware of it. We’re really excited to see players earning items in the game as well as buying them from the Station Cash marketplace.
GS: Many users have already reached the cap in many jobs and the endgame seems to offer not much to do, right now, relating with other kid’s game like Wizard 101 or Toontown. What’s your thought about it ?
From actual internal database tracking, it looks like most players are taking their time in Free Realms—exploring, trying different jobs, playing in shorter sessions—which is what we expected. It’s actually a small percentage of players who have reached the level cap in more than one job. The players who play the game for several hours a day, every day of the week will always consume MMO content more quickly than the average player. Even though most of our players still have hours and hours of game ahead of them, though, we have some great updates in the works that include many “end-game” features along with new areas, new jobs and even new player races.
GS: Could you talk more in details about the trading card game recently introduced? Do you plan to add other games like that in the future inside FR?
We’re really excited about the Free Realms Trading Card game. It’s really fun to play, and very popular with our players. We plan expansions for the TCG (including new NPCs to challenge), as well as a lot of other great new minigames that I can’t talk about quite yet. I think the only one I can talk about now is soccer, which is still in the works and coming soon!