New Business Model: Selling Beta Keys

The most expensive Path of Exile early access packGrinding Gear Games is a studio that has yet to make a name for themselves. They’re currently working on an action RPG game called Path of Exile. Path of Exile is currently in closed beta, and is shaping out to be a really fun game. It will be completely free to play, with the inevitable micro-transactions.

However, nobody expected the microtransactions to start even during beta. As a new gaming studio it’s not surprising GGG needs the funds to develop a great game, and they actually thought of an interesting concept, one that I’m surprised no other studio thought of yet: they are selling beta keys!

you can pre-purchase Points used to buy cosmetic microtransactions. Every purchase comes with a Closed Beta key so that you (or a friend) can start playing immediately. In addition to the Points, we offer a wide selection of exclusive rewards such as in-game pets, shipped copies of the game, its soundtrack, posters and even the chance to help design a Unique item that will be added to the game.

While this concept is definitely new (at least to me), I find it quite refreshing in fact. More than often players are looking to obtain beta keys for upcoming games and sometimes it can be difficult. This way, everyone’s happy: if you can’t get into the game by other means, you can just pay $10 and get yourself a key. It also gives you an additional 100 points that can later on be used for microtransactions.

As mentioned the cheapest early access pack costs $10, but there are additional ones, going up to a mind-blowing $1,000: if you have extra money lying around this pack will give the most rewards, but I simply don’t see anyone investing this much into this game. That’s taking it a bit too far if you ask me, but who knows, perhaps someone will feel generous.

Either way, if you simply can’t wait another 6 weeks until Diablo III or if you’re just looking for an alternative, you might want to give Path of Exile a try. I managed to snag myself a beta key (free, mind you), and I really liked the game. Hopefully, you will too.

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