Dropzone Gets New Modes and Goes Free-to-Play

Posted on 04 Apr 2017 by
Stephen Haselden

Prior to 2015, the MOBA market was the up and coming genre for PC. Reigning kings were Dota 2 and League of Legends, which had left their mark on the financial landscape, and hordes of hopeful developers were trying to emulate their success, and rake in the “wonga”.

Sadly 2015 saw the end of many a MOBA developers dreams (and gamers too, there were some great games that disappeared with the general exodus) with the early retirement of many promising looking MOBA games: Transformers Universe, Dawngate, Infinite Crisis, and many more…

However, despite most developers realizing what a barrier to enter the MOBA genre is, developer Spankypants Studios LLC stuck to their vision and produced their own evolution of the MOBA game, DropezoneWhile having a few unusual characteristics, rather than team based, its primary mode is 1v1, instead of controlling a single unit, you have three varied units to control.

Dropzone also follows the less common LoL business model, with a £15 “entry fee” (rather than Free-to-Play) which gives you access to some basic heroes and equipment, then charges gamers a further fee on top of that, to access extra heroes etc..(there is a £30 Commander Edition which unlocks all heroes and more items too).

The business model is certainly a bold move in such a saturated market. However, the Spankypants devs may be smarter than they sound, by sticking to their unique vision, they are offering an alternative flavour to the MOBA scene. Many other devs have deserted the genre, and even if the market is dominated by Dota 2, Lol, and Smite, the most dedicated players needs a change of pace from time to time. Similarly to what Blizzard did with Heroes of the Storm, Spankypants have positioned themselves to take a portion of that demographic.

Now that I’ve sent you to sleep with my potted, recent history of the MOBA genre, here is the actual news….

From April 12th, Spankypants (is this the greatest company name ever or what?) will be releasing a new update to Dropzone that addresses a number of requests by their players. The game will now include a 3v3 mode, with each player controlling a single unit, and will also be adding a new 1v1 ranked mode for gamers who are getting serious with Dropzone’s original mode. Perhaps more importantly than these requested modes, they are also updating their business model to the Free-to-Play type. How this will affect players who have already bought Dropzone is yet unclear.

Having not played the game, I can’t comment on how significant these new modes will be to players, but I can say that I am thoroughly pleased to see some innovation still going on for this much maligned genre.

Official Press Release

Sparkypants’ MOBA/RTS hybrid Dropzone has been live for a month and is undergoing big changes. Steam users have scored Dropzone ‘Very Positive’ and the developer is now adding the #1 fan-requested feature.

Sparkypants is adding several new modes to the game, starting with the all-new Team 3v3 mode. Controlling one single unit (rather than all three at once) has been the #1 community request, and this accessible new co-op mode arrives on Wednesday.

For advanced players up to the challenge of piloting three mechs at once, Ranked Draft 1v1 is a new competitive mode where Pilot, Rig and Gear choices will be critical during the drafting phase prior to the start of each match.

We’re offering interviews this week, and I can provide access to the new modes before they go live Wednesday, April 5. If interested, please let me know your schedule today/tomorrow.

The biggest change to the game is coming next week; on Wednesday, April 12th, Dropzone transitions from a paid product to free-to-play, introducing the game to much larger audience than ever before. Since the game’s initial concept design, Dropzone was built to be a F2P game, and Sparkypants and publisher Gameforge have spent the past year iterating and incorporating community feedback.

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