Guns of Icarus Alliance - Why it Isn't an Update to Guns of Icarus Online

By Michelle-Louise Janion, 3 months ago
We know you probably have questions about why Guns of Icarus Alliance is a different product from the original or are wondering what happens if you don’t upgrade, so this post’s goal is to answer the most common questions we’re seeing:

Why isn’t Alliance just a free update to Guns of Icarus Online?

Well, the short answer is because it’s too big for us to be a free update. It’s literally larger than the entire original game. Some people see that as a cash grab, but in reality, as I will try to explain in some of the other questions, it is quite the opposite. We felt this was the most fair way to fulfill our Kickstarter that funded this project nearly 3 years ago.

Why isn’t Alliance a DLC for Guns of Icarus Online?

We debated over this a lot and discussed this Steam, and the recommendation was to go with a full release and remove the old DLC upgrade. Content DLCs can be low on content and high on price, and it complicates purchase process for anyone new to the community. We believe in what we're offering, and we want to avoid the impression specifically that this is a cash grab. Alliance is more than a DLC, it is its own game. Sure it is built in the shoulders of Guns of Icarus Online, but there’s no denying the amount of new content in Alliance. Not just art, or ships, but entirely new mechanics, a new way of story telling, and just a completely different style of play from the original.

Anyway, short version is if this were a cash grab Guns of Icarus Alliance could have been 10 DLCs costing 3-5 dollars each, as opposed to a full product with free updates just like Guns of Icarus Online is.

What happens if I don’t want to upgrade to Alliance?

We get that PvE isn’t a thing everyone wants to do, and that is fine. Alliance is also an update to Guns of Icarus Online and we will continue to support Guns of Icarus Online 100%, with the aim to bring more and more contents from PvE over to PvP. Not only will we continue to support PvP mode, but now you can join a faction, earn rewards, and still get involved in the meta story of Alliance without paying a dime. In essence we’re not making anyone pay for content they don’t want AND we’re providing a free update to our existing customers.

Are you sure this isn’t a cash grab or your way of forcing people to pay more for something they already purchased?

We talked at length about the ways to integrate Alliance and create sales. In the end we determined the most successful methods are also the ones we disagree with as an industry. I talked a bit about content DLCs, where you release content in drips and use that drip content to end up making people pay 2-3x the price a game “should” cost. That’s one method we simply could not do and still look ourselves in the mirror.

The other would have been cutting off support or content for the original game earlier. This not only would have saved costs, since we wouldn’t be basically trying to build / support two games at once, but it would have created demand as we “starve” our fans of new stuff. On top of that, we could have then released Alliance as a totally new product that wasn’t integrated at all with the original and forced our players to upgrade or not play.

Tactics like this, and I am sure you can think of at least one of both examples, are common in the games industry and we refuse to play by those rules. As a result we’re forging a different path where we give the players free updates and the option to upgrade. Unfortunately, also as a result, it confused a LOT of people about what our motives are. Believe me, we want to make money, but we want to do it in a way that makes us feel like we’re actually contributing value to our players and fans.

So now I ask for everyone’s support. Please, ask questions, even question our motives, but if you agree with our methods and want to help, tell a friend. We need your help to make Alliance fly, just like we needed your help to make Guns take off nearly 5 years ago.

We’re building a different kind of game company and we hope you’ll be along for the ride as we continue to try new ways of doing things.

Lastly, if you’re reading this it means you are likely an owner of the original game. For that I personally thank you from the bottom of my heart. Even if you never spend another dime on a Muse Games product, your being part of our journey has shown us so much love and support that it has literally been life changing.

Thank you,
Howard, Team Lead
Michelle-Louise Janion
I tend to favour the puzzle, RPG, action-adventure and strategy genres. My particular favourites over the years have been Final Fantasy IX, Metal Gear Solid, Civilisation V and The Last of Us. I'm also a sucker for a series: Darksiders, Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider etc. I am a bit of a lone gamer as I tend to steer clear of PvP, and only play multiplayer with close friends.