Paradox Interactive is trialling a new subscription model in a bid to address criticism about DLC and expansions.
Yesterday, the publisher has released a patch for Europa Universalis 4. While the patch ostensibly did nothing more than alter the version number and mod compatibility, the team subsequently confirmed that it was deployed in order to trial a new subscription service.
However, in order not to prejudice the experiment, community manager Björn Blomberg explained the company could not yet “fully disclose exactly how it will look”.
“We have heard for years from existing and potential new players that the cost of getting the game and all expansions all at once is quite expensive (and might be discouraging for completely new EU4 fans), it’s been supported for almost 7 years after all,” explained a team lead on the official forums (thanks, GI.biz). “A subscription model has been suggested to us on many occasions, so we thought we’d run a test to see how popular such a service would be.
“Expansions and other DLCs, both existing and upcoming, will still be available for purchase as usual for those who prefer that,” they clarified when fans hit back, wanting to know how the new service would impact them. “We will not remove any content from anyone or make future content exclusive to people with a subscription. Nobody will be forced to pay again for content they have already purchased, and you will get to choose if you want to subscribe to get future DLC or continue purchasing the items individually just as you’ve always done.
“In hindsight we might have been a little more open about this process – we know, as our long-time fans, this model may not be aimed at you (again, none of your existing purchases are going to be charged again),” they later admitted. “We wanted to try and gather data from people who encountered this new idea without prior bias or discussion (makes for a better experiment).”
For now, only “a limited group of people” will be privy to the offer, and participation will be entirely voluntary.