3000AD announced last week that its MMOFPS Line of Defense will arrive on Steam's early access platform in July, sporting a hefty $99 buy-in. In response to gamer rumblings over the status of the early release and the price, studio president and lead developer Derek Smart posted on Twitlonger to explain that the game is fully funded already but can't afford to let "freeloaders" in:
"The $99 EA price tag - which has a LOT of perks - ensures that only serious people who can provide meaningful feedback through their commitment, need apply. And for that they get a lot more than they would if they waited for the final game release. We're simply not interested in letting freeloaders gain early access to the game, not provide meaningful - if any - feedback, while we foot the bill for the backend services, servers, bandwidth etc. We're a SMALL independent game dev making a MASSIVE game in a genre dominated and monopolized by SOE and their popular @planetside2 series. [...] And unlike those other guys, we don't take your money, then plonk you in useless assets (how do you like that hanger now?), a largely unfinished product or a product that may not even see the light of day."Smart also alerts potential players to the fact that the studio has altered its original plans to omit female characters from the game: "My decision to now fund and add two bad-ass female characters comes from the fact that, well, we as an industry need to start making a concerted effort to cater to our female players because good faith can only get you so far."