Mojang isn't ruling out a free-to-play-structure for Scrolls
Though it hasn’t actually released yet, Mojang’s new game Scrolls has already far exceeded the indie developer’s goals. After selling 40,000 units to become profitable in its first week of paid beta access, Scrolls sold another 60,000 copies and finally slowed down. Now that sales have plateaued, lead designer Jakob Porsér says that a free-to-play structure could be in the game’s future.
Porsér really doesn’t want to go there, though. “We never want to make a game that sells lot of expensive things just because there are people who are willing to buy them,” Porsér told Games Industry. “I do not judge developers making such games, but that's not where we will be going.”
Scrolls attracts several thousand players every day, according to Porsér, which is pretty good considering that the game is still in beta development. Still, watching the growing fanbase begin to stagnate before the official launch must be worrying, and Porsér stressed that Mojang is willing to attract players with a free-to-play structure if that’s what it takes.
"We do not close [the door] for making Scrolls a free game in the future if that's what is needed to attract more players,” he added. “That is how most other collectible card games work today, it may have already become such a standard that it's hard for us to break.”
Still, I think that collectible card games deserve an alternative to the freemium standard, and if anyone has the clout to pull off a change in industry practice like that, it’s the company with a fanbase built out of voxels.