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Kabam responds to Dragons of Atlantis boycott

Boycott organiser banned from playing, Kabam denies pay to win strategy

Kabam is currently embroiled in a battle with some of its customers over its free-to-play strategy game Dragons of Atlantis, with players organising a boycott and Kabam reportedly responding with bans.

Players are angry at changes that have been made to the game's monetisation, and the angry players have started a suspension of activity expected to last two to three weeks, depending on the result they achieve.

"Kabam has switched around their operational mode to promote power gains and not battle, taking away the incentive to actually battle and providing incentive to gain power through competitions," said an open letter from group, which now has 3,363 supporters on Facebook.

"While we can see from a business standpoint why they would do this, as consumers, we are fed up. Kabam is no longer promoting free-to-play games. In fact, they are now making it next to impossible for any player who does not purchase online currency to grow at all."

One of the boycott's organisers Andrea Richards has reported she has been banned for "inciting player[s] to boycott Kabam," while Andrew Veen, also of the group, explained to GamesBeat that the problems included the purchase of Blue Energy, one of the game's resources.

"The problem with Blue Energy is not its rarity, but that 'free-to-play' gamers rapidly run out of it or have insufficient stockpiles of it such that they are barred and prohibited from advancing in the game. On the other hand, 'pay-to-play' gamers have access to unlimited supplies of it in the shop and can never run out of it. "

Meanwhile Kabam told Polygon that the issue was players using illegal tools to help their progress.

"The issue is pretty much that there's a small number of players who were using an unauthorized third-party tool that gave them an unfair advantage in the game. To keep the game fair and equitable, we disallowed that. We don't want anyone to have an unfair advantage in the game, so we don't authorize this third-party tool anymore, and that is what has been the cause of this," said Kabam's VP head of global corporate communications Steve Swasey.

"Whether it's Kabam or other free-to-play games companies - everyone can get the app and play for free, but if you want to have a premium content experience, that's when you pay for it and that's how Kabam makes money. There's no advertising in Kabam games, there's no subscription or fee to start. It's all completely free-to-play. But if you want faster gameplay or an enhanced experience, then you can pay for the premium content."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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