Trion community manager Evan "Scapes" Berman has announced that ArcheAge's western alpha will expand in the weeks following GDC. In a post on AA's early-adopter fansite ArcheAge Source, Berman explained that pre-launch beta packages will be offered which grant closed beta access, and he confirmed that the fantasy sandbox will feature a free-to-play business model and launch "in the Americas and Europe this year, 2014."
While he didn't address the controversial and game-changing 1.0 patch that developer XLGAMES has already pushed live in Korea, Berman did emphasize ArcheAge's sandbox features. "Both Trion Worlds and XLGAMES want ArcheAge to be a free-to-play sandbox that fits our 'no tricks, no traps' vision and will make development decisions to achieve that goal in Trion's territories."
Finally, Berman said that Trion plans to offer cash shop items that "provide solid value and fun, while earned and crafted items are objectively superior."
[Thanks Zenaphex and Oskar!]