Three Rings Design, developer of the casual-nautical MMO, announced the game had surpassed 2 million registered users.
The company reports a dramatic increase in registrations with the shift from subscription pricing to a free-to-play model that includes the option of purchasing micro-currency. Players can then spend their micro-currency on in-game upgrades and additional content.
Three Rings' CEO Daniel James sees 2 million users as confirmation of the micro-currency model. "We believe that this model represents the future for online entertainment. Our inspiration continues to be the Korean market, where 'free to play, pay for item' is the ubiquitous business model for online games. As the US market matures to meet Korea, we intend to keep leading the way."
In addition, the company recently released the beta version of a new game, Bang! Howdy, a multiplayer online tactical strategy game for the PC, which uses the same payment structure and online distribution model.