Global Agenda got its very own UK boxed release on Friday. To celebrate, we're giving away ten copies on Steam, which, now that I think about it, is really weird . We should be giving away boxed copies, right? Still, that's how the big bad world works. To probably have a chance of potentially getting one, read on:
Ten codes. A few giga-shedloads of readers. We need to decide who gets to try on the jetpacks. Unfortunately, we're not allowed to organise a jousting tournament since that accident last time, although I still maintain that it'd be safe enough if we used regular lances without explosive tips.
No, this time we'll compete with comment boxes. Comment below with your idea for the lamest thing to use a jetpack for. Changing a lightbulb, keeping the carpet clean, that sort of thing. The ten lamest jetpack uses will win a copy of Global Agenda on Steam.
I spoke to Todd Harris, Global Agenda's executive producer, about the new retail box. I asked him if there was a game in it: he said there was. I asked him if he wanted to talk about it: he said he did.
PC Gamer: You're releasing Global Agenda in a box! What's the agenda there, then?
Todd Harris: Well, with no required monthly fees, we see an opportunity for even more people to join the GA world. Digital Distribution has been great for us. In fact we're still the top selling MMO on Steam even though we released over eight months ago. But retail is a very important channel and so we're excited to add UK players who want the full Global Agenda package - box included.
PC Gamer: Why did you decide to transition to a subscription-free game? How did the community respond?
Todd Harris: We moved Global Agenda to subscription-free because that's the payment model our players asked for. It sounds simple but basically we put out a survey and chose the model that was overwhelmingly preferred by both our active players and potential buyers. So, with Global Agenda you buy the game once and play all existing content forever. Future expansion content will be charged for separately. Our inboxes were then flooded with thank-yous and hug e-mails so apparently the community likes the plan. I think it comes down to the fact that many of our players enjoy Global Agenda as their secondary MMO or as a shooter. They play the game very regularly but sometimes in smaller doses since our mission structure allows you to progress in 15-minute sessions of PvE or PvP as you choose. So, the no-sub model matches how a lot of people play the game.
PC Gamer: What's been your biggest success with the game so far?
Todd Harris: We most proud of the positive player reviews and how they've supported Global Agenda growth since launch while so many other MMOs unfortunately decline after launch. We are the number one shooter MMO and our growth has come primarily from positive word of mouth. More specifically, our players tend to highlight the intense combat and freedom of movement that comes from the jetpack. Some MMOs don't even allow you to jump and we let you fly!
PC Gamer: What's the biggest thing on the game's to do list? What would you ideally like to improve or add next?
Todd Harris: Our next free patch includes many community requests including achievements and badges, additional player crafting including a craftable prestige pet, and character profile slots to support quickly switching your weapon load-out and skill-point spec.
In future expansion updates we'll be introducing even larger maps that allow more players to simultaneously battle on them.
PC Gamer: How do you observe that players participate in the game's world? How many people are ignoring the territory-control aspect? How many people are going all out to pursue chunks of land?
Todd Harris: For PvE players, high level characters join a number of very popular gametypes. In our 10-person Defensive Raids your team protects the objective against a swarm of Recursive Colony robots. In our Ultra-Max difficulty dungeon-crawl type missions four players infiltrate facilities of the evil Commonwealth faction. We also have a DoubleAgent game mode where your four-person team goes against not only Commonwealth NPCs, but also two real players fighting alongside the bad-guys and trying to stop your team.
For PvP fans, our Agency vs. Agency end-game alows pre-made groups to compete against other player-made groups over territory and facilities. With no top-down factions the conflict is very player-driven and dynamic and unlike any other MMO endgame. Last season we had over 15% of our players participating in this AvA end-game, and it looks like the participation will be even higher this season.
PC Gamer: How many players are sticking to rigid schedules to hold zones?
Todd Harris: In the current Agency vs. Agency play, groups can choose which zone they participate in based on their player availability and timezone. We have weekend and weekday zones and within each zone there are regions with different published open-hours. This format has allowed smaller player agencies to own and hold territory. Last season the competition was very intense and it went down to the final hour of the final day before a winner emerged.
PC Gamer: Global Agenda is, at heart, a fast paced team shooter. On the design end, how do you make sure it isn't just a spammy spam-fest?
Todd Harris: Our top priority during developent was class balance and the overall feel of the team shooter combat. Spam is minimized because some quick kill weapons, such as a Robotics' turrets or Recons' sniper rifle, can clear out players in a hurry. Then it comes down to good map design that allows those classes to do their thing while also supporting the roles for Assaults and Medics.
PC Gamer: Where can our readers buy it, and what will it cost?
Todd Harris: Global Agenda is available at retailers across the United Kingdom, including GAME, The Hut, Zavvi, Play.com, Shopto.net, and Amazon UK. The suggested retail price is £24.99 and we think PC gamers will find Global Agenda to be a great way to satisfy their MMO fix AND shooter fix in the same game - no monthly fee required!
PC Gamer: Thanks Todd.
Right, get commenting. Ten people will get a free copy of this game. Are your ideas lame enough for you to be one of them?