Aion is enjoying a rare moment in the spotlight thanks to yesterday’s launch of a legacy mode called Aion Classic. The opening day was what you’d expect: crowds, bugs, excitement, and consternation that this wasn’t officially being offered over in Aion Europe (which is operated Gameforge and in fact is running a totally different event right now for EU gamers who don’t fib about their location and brave US pings).
With the release of Aion Classic, NCSoft hopes to bring the Aion name back to its glory days when it was considered one of the best MMORPGs on the market. To see this, just look at what happened when this Classic version was released in South Korea last year, where its debut drew hundreds of thousands of new players and allowed NCSoft to profit horribly. At the time, the title surpassed games like World of Warcraft and Valorant in popularity, appearing among the 10 most played games in the Asian country — something that hadn’t happened in years.
Whether you chose to join the Asmiodians or the Elyos factions, you might want to grab a subscription, however. While Aion Classic is free to play, today’s release has some obvious drawbacks with zero cost down. As in the days of yore, Aion Classic will be subscription based. Players can purchase Siel’s Aura, which unlocks full experience gain, and the ability to acquire useful in-game currency and items. To celebrate the launch, and entice you in, players will receive a free week of subscription for Aion Classic, from today. So, if you feel like catching some pigeons, get your wings and check out Aion’s return to the beginning at the official Aion Classic website now.
Since Aion Classic is a free-to-play game with a sub model to entice those wanting the convenience and extra experience gain it offers, monetization methods were seemingly always part of the deal here. However, things like an overpriced battle pass on top of the subscription model, on top of the idea that you can literally buy your way to being wealthy right away, it doesn’t do much to alleviate fears with the player community.
What the company would rather you not pay attention to is the fact that Aion Classic is selling game currency for cash. Redditors and MMO Fallout noted that players can drop money on the cash shop for — and we’re not making this up — pink tiger candy, which can then be sold to in-game vendors for currency. It’s raised pay-to-win concerns already as some players demand the launch be rolled back.
Redditors on the official MMORPG subreddit are pointing out that Aion Classic feels like a game designed to get you to “swipe your credit card or get left behind.” One Redditor broke down the cost of the pink tiger candy items and detailed how quickly you can rack up 3 million of in-game currency, all for about $11 real-world money.
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