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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Got Disposable Wealth? Be The Archlord!

It's a wonderful concept that games like WoW can offer a month's entertainment for the cost of one trip to the cinema, ten fairground goldfish or indeed five minutes button bashing on a slot machine. So it is with dismay that I read on page 11 of this month's PC Gamer that Archlord, a new MMO that ShadowBolt and I were looking forward to, plans to greedily charge its players over 27 pounds per month for the privilege of earning more experience points than their less financially gifted playmates. The 27 pound charge will earn players the payment class of 'Lord', with lesser real world cost, and in-game reward, coming associated with classes 'Knight' and 'Squire'.

We as gamers and as consumers should not expect developers, publishers or indeed any other company to stand as beacons of ethical guidance to us all. We live in a society in which corporations set their prices accordly to maximise profits and yet still remain competitive with their rivals. The demand for a product also plays a huge role in it's pricing, (why else would kinder eggs cost so much?!,) which is why we have power as consumers. Let us not demand Archlord as long as its developers plan to implement these ridiculous charges. There are plenty of MMOs out there with fairer schemes for payment. Schemes that do not dictate your status within the game world according to your monetary assets in the real world. Let Archlord's lack of sales force it's makers to either rethink their marketing strategy or have their game sell so poorly that nobody else ever tries to exploit gamers in this way again.

You can contact Codemasters, the company responsible for Archlord at press@codemasters.co.uk.