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I love it when I can start talking about games I’m working on – Stronghold Kingdoms

By on March 4, 2010
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I think March will be an exciting month. I will finally be able to start talking about two projects I have been working on for months.

The first is Stronghold Kingdoms, the castle-building MMO from Firefly Studios, the brains behind one of my favourite strategy game series, Stronghold.

Last week, they announced that the game would be free to play. (As regular readers of GAMESbrief know, I’m a huge believer in free.) The revenue model is based around strategy cards. Each card has an impact on different elements of the game, such as agriculture, warfare, trading, religion and so on.

As designer Simon Bradbury put it: “Strategy cards are integral to the game. The skilful use of a card can be the difference between winning and losing a confrontation”. (I don’t feel so bad regurgitating press releases when I was involved in drafting them.)

We’re also aware that there is a challenge for a free to play game – namely, how to make money. "Balancing making money with making a game freely available is challenging,” added Eric Ouellette. “We are convinced that most players will enjoy the many benefits that purchasing extra packs of strategy cards each month offers them.”

I’m really looking forward to the launch later this year. It will be a great example (I hope) of a developer taking its own intellectual property into the brave new world of self-publishing on the web.

(I can’t talk about the other project yet…)

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com