Disney Dreamlight Valley has been in early access for about a year now with the intention to go free-to-play at some point. However, Gameloft has announced that the studio will no longer make the game free-to-play and instead, offer a one-time purchase for new gamers.
This means that if you have played Disney Dreamlight Valley during early access, you’ll still have the game when the transition takes place. You’ll just need to fork out $30 for the new so-called “expansion” that just so happens to be launching when the game leaves early access (sounds like paying for the game again if you ask me).
Considering Gameloft built Disney Dreamlight Valley as a free-to-play game, it already contains a heavy push for microtransactions. Early access players can purchase Moonstones which can be used to buy premium event track quest rewards, cosmetics items and other content.
You can also earn these Moonstones in a limited quantity daily. These Moonstones are essentially the currency of Disney Dreamlight Valley and while the game is fully playable without them, it does limit and slow down your creative freedom if you opt to not purchase any of them.
At first, the game’s free-to-play model made sense. Early access would grant players access to the game early along with Moonstones and some exclusive cosmetics items. You could then purchase Moonstones as added bonus to gain more rewards from events.
Now that Disney Dreamlight Valley is leaving early access and keeping the once-off paid purchase system, players were hoping that Gameloft would drop the in-game purchases. Or perhaps water them down. Sadly, that isn’t the case. In fact, it is going to be even more expensive to play Disney Dreamlight Valley after it launches next month.
First off, you’ll have to pay for the $30 expansion if you’re an early-access player or jumping into the game for the first time. Gameloft says these $30 purchases will arrive frequently as paid expansions. In addition to that, all the in-game purchases of Moonstones will remain in the game.
Granted, Disney Dreamlight Valley will still offer ways to obtain Moonstones and the DreamSnaps will remain a method to obtain premium items. However, the aggressive monetization is still a concern for the community. We also don’t know how Gameloft will handle these purchases once the game releases out of early access next month. Perhaps currency earning will be nerfed, prices will go up and more expansions get more expensive.
Fans have voiced their opinions on the matter over on Reddit with many of them agreeing with the move to pay-to-play. Some say it was expected and they saw it coming. Some, on the other hand, feel as if Disney Dreamlight Valley has already been set up as a free-to-play game and the game’s aggressive in-game purchase and locked content are a bad sign of things to come. One user says:
“There’s nothing wrong with making a paid game. The problem is that this game is set up as free to play – there are extensive micro transactions, for cosmetics but also for actual gameplay content. Previously this was the Ursula and Wall-E content, which if you bought along with a founders pack makes this a AAA priced game. Now they want to sell you an expansion pass, again with actual gameplay content in it, taking it to an eye-watering price just to be able to play the whole game. If you don’t think this game is already about extracting as much money form you as possible, I don’t know what to tell you – and I don’t understand how the announcement of a paid expansion pass doesn’t make that painfully clear.”
Another user says that while they don’t mind paying for the game’s $30 launch price, they have been plagued with game bugs for over a year now and don’t see that changing.
“It took them a year to fix the bug where many items only appeared in pouches. Despite the only content after quests being decorating. Yet people still act like the devs are working hard and they need extra revenue. If this game got updated more regularly, with free content (including new items) at a normal pace, I’d probably defend it a little bit, but it’s not even funny how much they milk the playerbase for how little they give.”
It is going to be interesting to see how Disney Dreamlight Valley goes in the future. Gameloft is hosting a showcase event on 1 November where the studios plans on detailing the $30 expansion. However, if these purchases and monetization features aren’t handled properly, the fan base will die faster than we think,