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Moonbreaker isn’t ruling out a free-to-play pivot in the future

Moonbreaker will be a paid-for release when it hits early access this month, however its developer and publisher are both prepared to adapt

Moonbreaker free to play: A warrior holding a giant staff rides on the back of a giant dragon-like frog creature

Moonbreaker, the upcoming turn-based strategy game that aims to capture the charm of physical tabletop games, was one of the most talked about titles to be shown off at Gamescom last month. Developer Unknown Worlds is also moving swiftly to get it in the hands of players with some free weekends on Steam and an early access launch this month.

However, one question that some people interested in Moonbreaker have posed is what kind of monetisation model will the game have? Will this be a one-off payment for a game that lets you grind your way to new figurines and cosmetics? Will there be seasonal content that we can pay to access? Or will it have a store stuffed full of microtransactions? Well, after speaking to game director Charlie Cleveland at Gamescom, it seems Unknown Worlds isn’t 100% sure just yet either.

“We haven’t decided what we’re going to do,” Cleveland tells us, referring to the long-term future of the game. “What we do know is that we’re going to launch it as a pay-to-download premium – that’s just kind of our history as a company. We want this to be a long term game so we are setting it up so that we have the ability to do that. We kind of learned that lesson with Subnautica – we didn’t design the game to be extendable.”

While it will be a paid-for release to begin with, Cleveland acknowledges Moonbreaker could pivot in the future to a free-to-play model where paid content keeps it afloat. “We’re thinking ahead and we’ve got currencies in-game [already] – and we’ll give you a boatload of that stuff when you buy it. We’re not sure when or if we’re going to transition, we just know that we want to be able to if we need to because we don’t want to give up on the game.”

Since Gamescom, Moonkbreaker’s publisher, Krafton, has also confirmed to The Loadout that going free-to-play in the future isn’t off the table. However, it reinforces that it will first try to make the game a success as a paid product with a “strong offering” of content.

“While a transition to a F2P model is something being considered, Moonbreaker will launch into early access as a paid product with a strong offering for the price,” Krafton says in a statement. “When players purchase the game, they will have everything they need to access all gameplay content.

“Players will also get free access to Season Tracks (which operate similar to Battle Pass systems in other games) while the game is in early access. We’ll have some cosmetic items – which won’t impact gameplay – that can be purchased using the game’s hard currency, Pulsars. However, all Captains, Crew, maps, etc. (existing and future) can be unlocked just by playing the game.”

Moonbreaker aims to bring not only the tactical gameplay of popular tabletop games but also the personalisation and relaxation it brings too. The game will let you paint your own miniatures, and will even play you soothing audiobooks full of lore while you do so.

Additional reporting by Jess Wells.