Free to play model depicted in a shield with dragon art

Secret of Dhatu - Our Free to Play Model

Everything you want to know about the free to play model of Opalnote's new MMORPG, Secret of Dhatu.

Max MakkiDecember 13, 2017

Secret of Dhatu is an MMORPG developed by Opalnote Studios - a tiny indie team working as frugally as possible. With no corporate rule book to follow, we're going to totally shake things up. Our MMO will be available to play, totally free, while it is still in development. That's right, you will be in a position to help shape the outcome and path Secret of Dhatu takes!

If it's free to play, how will you make money?

There is a problem with the current MMO monetization systems. Either the game is gated by a subscription fee or initial purchase price that not everyone can afford, or it is made free to play with a pay to win cash shop which disadvantages poorer players. We want to make a truly free to play game that does not feature a pay to win cash shop.

Is it possible? We don't know, but we sincerely want to try and make it possible!

That's where Patreon and MakerSupport come in. These platforms are similar to traditional crowdfunding platforms, only the contributions are monthly rather than a one time payout. By becoming a contributor to Secret of Dhatu, your support ensures the survival of the project and maintains the truly free-to-play model we envision.


Where does my money go?

Firstly, thank you for your consideration in becoming a supporter of Secret of Dhatu. You don't know how much that means to us!

Because of the tiny size of our team, we can not afford (both time and money) to produce all the assets you'll see in the game ourselves. This includes graphical assets and animations. Your funds will help us obtain the licenses we require to populate our world with triple A graphics, music and effects.

Further, we have to maintain the game's infrastructure. This includes dedicated hosting and essential services for proper upkeep and sustainability. Your funds will help us pay those bills so that our team can focus on what's most important - developing the MMORPG you've always wanted!

What happens when you can afford all of the above? Where does my money go then?

When our money problems are solved, all that remains are time problems. Once we can cover all of the above expenses, the next immediate goal is team expansion. Team growth ensures fast-paced content delivery and suggestion box fulfillment. If you're reading this in the future, and we're at this stage, then we'd like to take this moment in the past to thank all our supporters for making this project a reality!

That's all fine and dandy, but what do I get out of it?

Our supporters get special, non-game breaking, rewards for their contributions to our project. You will receive tier-gated rewards depending on how much you contribute. Pledging a mere $1 a month is a huge help for us, and this ensures a special discord rank. Higher tiers will open up opportunities such as bleeding-edge (earliest possible access to) content releases which ensures your opinion on our latest content is heard first. This increases your potential for influencing the path Secret of Dhatu takes.

Okay, now wrap it all up for me!

We're doing something that has never been done before, so there is no proof-of-concept model for us to gauge the success of our approach. This fear of the unknown will not - however - stop us from chasing our vision for a truly free-to-play, open world MMORPG. Surely we're not the only people with this dream, and many of you want the same thing but are held back by programming skills, money, a team, and other common problems. This is our collective chance to make the MMORPG of our dreams, and we can do that together!

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