XOOM Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of WWII Online. I'd like to congratulate you all on making it to our 20th Anniversary of WWII Online, which is an extraordinary accomplishment that you should all be proud of. With that being said, we need to be looking at the future. For sometime, CRS and the Community has desired innovation into the future, so as to create the next 20 years. 87% of you said we need to do something bold - and innovative to stay relevant. Today, we have a series of extraordinary announcements to share with you that help bring us in that direction. Please watch the videos in order contained in this article.
Today there was four key announcements we covered, which include:
- Integrated Voice Communications (IVC)
- Steam Release
- Pricing and Subscriptions
- Technology Advancements
Integrated Voice Comms
We are rapidly approaching internal testing phases to validate IVC. For the longest time we have wanted to bring voice comms into WWII Online, without relying on any third party software to accomplish this. We are on the brink of finally achieving this extraordinary achievement which will dramatically improve player retention and overall quality of game play. This is an exciting an immersive feature with tons of benefits.
For sometime now, WWII Online has been in "Early Access" on Steam, and it has been really valuable for us to get feedback and make important changes to set us up for the most success. Several changes have since occurred, which has made us confident that upon the completion and implementation of IVC, we will be in a position to transition from Early Access --> Full Release on Steam. We anticipate this will generate another large wave of players joining the game, populating our virtual battlefield tremendously.
Pricing And Subscriptions
The following subscriptions will no longer be available in WWII Online as of July 1st, 2021:
- All Infantry
- All Air Forces
- All Ground Forces
Each of these plans will then be transitioned to a $9.99/mo premium rate.
Our public line up for subscription plans as of July 1st 2021 will look like the following:
- 30 day free trial
- Free to Play (like we have now)
- $9.99/mo premium subscription
- Monthly & Yearly Hero Builder Plan(s)
One important note we made was that we're taking a big risk here. We really need players to maintain their current subscription rate to continue supporting the game. Our primary objective of doing this is to bring more players into WWII Online, and remove any reason for why they may not want to get in. We also make the game more accessible to many more people. If there's a big shift in players abandoning their plans, we will have to abort this initiative and go back to our premium rate. Thanks for holding the line.
$17.99/mo subscribers will also receive a one-time upgrade to a discounted Monthly Hero Builder plan. We're doing this so not as to change the agreed upon rate but also encourage you to stick with this plan as it's important for us while we make our other adjustments.
To our existing Hero Builders, we hope you realize the significance of these changes and look at this in the best lenses possible. It is essential to hold the line.
Today we announced our intention to bring WWII Online into the Unreal Engine 4 (and eventually UE5). Our demonstration (within the above video) shows the conversion progress that we were making, that is bringing over our existing assets and popping them into the Unreal Engine to see how it'd look like.
We have a working plan that specifically states we need to bring over what we have into Unreal and then expand forward from there. We anticipate that this will take years to accomplish and there is some unknowns we are working to get past. The idea of getting into the Unreal Engine and then publicly announcing it to you now, is a really exciting and bold proposition.
We promised to keep you posted on the progress of these developments and need you to realize that making this move comes at a cost in some areas, some off hand would include:
- WWII Online 1.0 (current version) will receive primarily - production updates (vehicles, textures, terrain, etc)
- 1.0 will have almost no development taking place once IVC is completed
- All developers are to be transitioned to the WWII Online 2.0 (UE4 conversion) initiative
- We need the players to embrace this fully, as 70% of you requested we do this, and 87% of you said we need to do something bold and innovative
So we need 100% of your support in this effort, by subscribing - immediately - and going with the maximum plan that you can. You aren't just subscribing to keep the lights on, you are now backing us up to do some significant innovation that we must do.
We're hoping that by being this transparent and putting all the cards on the table that you have a renewed commitment - and stick with it long term. This will take years, it will not be simple and it comes at a cost as outlined above. But it IS the right call to make and we need to make the move, NOW.
Here are some before and after screenshots (1.0 vs UE4 Demo) - Please remember that this is a heavy work in progress and may not reflect the final result.
Current version of WWII Online Unreal Engine 4 conversion test
And here we have some night time screen shot tests that put together to test out lighting effects. Do note, these are only tests and may not include the full engines capabilities - yet.
Introducing, "WWII Online: Chokepoint"
Recently we have acquired, "Talos Interactive," and they are now part of Cornered Rat Software as Wing 2, specializing in future development within the Unreal Engine 4 - soon to be Unreal Engine 5. They have been developing on an old mod called, "Resistance & Liberation," which has now been re-branded to WWII Online: Chokepoint and is now apart of the WWII Online family / community. WWIIOnline.com will host both WWII Online and WWII Online: Chokepoint under a single banner, and they will help attract players to one another and advance our technology forward in a big way.
Here are some important benefits through this:
- Each game supports one another
- Intellectual Property created in Chokepoint will be available for WWII Online 2.0
- We'll attract more development personnel to bolster efforts
- We are tapping into a different demographic who can still appreciate our game
- We have a new team working on this - it doesn't take away from WWII Online 1.0-->2.0 conversion
This acquisition represents the creation of the WWII Online Franchise, where users will be able to access both games as a subscriber of WWII Online. So one rate will open access to both games simultaneously. We will be updating our Steam store front soon to have the Franchise features that they offer.
WWII Online builders will be eligible for beta testing as of July 1st 2021. Upgrade your account to a "Builder" plan to get access now.
Welcome aboard to the RnL community!
Here's the short teaser trailer we plan to have on our Steam Store page (coming in June 2021).
Let's march into the future, together!
Now more than ever is a great opportunity for everyone who has ever been a fan of WWII Online, to embrace all of this exciting news as a call to action, on your part and ours. CRS is putting ourselves out there, listening to your feedback and now making an extraordinary high number of commitments to do the best we can. But it's not all on CRS, we need the community's support - 100% of it to pull this off. And we promise to keep you appraised of developments on a monthly basis (this isn't one of those things we announce and go quiet on).
Pick up your original yellow game box, and realize this is our moment to do that again, and this time we'll be doing it openly - with you.
To achieve these goals we need to solve our #1 problem: Getting full time developers working on WWII Online 2.0. If you are a C++ programmer with the time and commitment, step up and volunteer with us so we can do this together, www.wwiionline.com/volunteer. If you're not a programmer, become a hero builder right away. That will act like a Patreon or a Monthly kickstarter, except instead of giving your money to these platforms, you'll dedicate it straight to CRS.
The future is bright and has tremendous potential. It's what we do now that makes the difference. Subscribe, right away, and support this. Standby for future funding initiatives which were requested during this convention.
One last thing: Please spread the word. There's so much news that we're spilling out here for you that we need folks to really understand the magnitude of it. Share this article, the videos and let's rally around this.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the prospect of WWII Online's future. It's in our hands now - let's DO THIS!
Matt "Xoom" Callahan President and CEO Playnet, Inc. / CRS firstname.lastname@example.org
Recordings of the Online Virtual Convention :