"It looks like we're jumping on the MOBA bandwagon as the same time as everyone else, which I see how it looks from the outside, CEO of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, told me at their annual showcase last month. "We discussed though building a bigger PvP version of Magicka because so many people were asking for it. Magicka is basically built for PvP, especially if you have friendly fire. I think that is one of the key selling points for us. You can't just go in like you do in League of Legends, I play a lot of League of Legends, and you go in there with everything that you have, and you don't have to care about your teammates.
Magicka: Wizard Wars is available right now through Steam Early Access, and you can gain access through three different founder packs. There's no monetization implemented yet as they want to work out all the bugs and errors before charging people anything. Eventually the game will open up completely with free access, and their free-to-play focus will follow what Riot Games and Valve have accomplished with their titles.
"We do not want to monetize on people's frustration, when people are angry because they lost their lives. We want people to pay for things when they're really excited to play more of the game.
"What we see as a good way as monetizing is the way Dota 2 or League of Legends does it. It doesn't change the game, it's not going to be a game winner for you. It's going to change the appearance of your character, [for example]. It's still [about] the inherent skill that you have.
Free-to-play has been a big trend in the gaming industry, and for Paradox they'll be going that route only "when it makes sense," Fredrik told me. "I think "free-to-play" is more of a marketing initiative than it's actually a sales or business model initiative. We might go free-to-play with more games if it makes sense.
"It's most of all respect the gamers. We don't want to monetize when people are frustrated. That's the nightmare for me, that it's going to be like the old arcade halls that you're so frustrated, you died for the fifth time in Gauntlet and then you have to buy a new life to get back in the game. That's not how we work. But if someone wants a new cool helmet, it doesn't do anything for you, you just look like this totally cool guy, then I like it. I buy a lot of skins in League of Legends for example. I've spent probably $150 so far. It's a good model, I feel good about spending money."
Check back later today for an interview with Fredrik Wester covering the history of Paradox Interactive and their future plans as a company.
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