Sandbox Interactive joins Stillfront

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    • Sandbox Interactive joins Stillfront

      Dear Albion Community,

      As you might have read in the news, Sandbox Interactive will be joining Stillfront in January 2021. Stillfront consists of a family of game studios that largely work independently, while sharing knowledge and expertise between them to support each other.

      For the past eight years, we have been building Albion Online up completely on our own - everything from development, to marketing, translations, customer support has been built up by ourselves. Now that Albion is growing at a massive rate, we realize that being on our own is not always an advantage. There are just too many things we’d have to master, and while we believe no one can develop Albion Online better than we can, there are plenty of areas around the game itself where we could benefit from additional expertise. This is why we decided to join the Stillfront Family. The partnership with Stillfront allows us to remain fully invested in Albion Online and its development, focusing on making the best Sandbox MMORPG experience in the world, while benefiting from Stillfront’s expertise in marketing and publishing to spread the word of Albion Online around the world.

      For you, the players, this will mean more people to play with, more capacities for development of patches and updates, and simply more Albion Online as we continue to grow the game over the coming years.
      With this ending to 2020, we’re looking forward to a bright future for Albion Online in 2021 and beyond.

      Please let us know what questions you have about this in the comments below!
      • Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys, CEO & The Sandbox Interactive Founder Team



      Update:

      We've put together a little FAQ on the questions you've had about us joining Stillfront Group for visibility. Please click on the button below to view the options!

      FAQ


      How does Stillfront Group operate? Why did Sandbox Interactive join them?
      Stillfront Group itself only has a small number of people centrally. Their model is based on a hands-off approach where these they look for successful and well-run game studios to acquire and then let them continue what they do best while encouraging them to help each other out where it makes sense - in our case, that would be in marketing. See this interview with Stillfront's COO for some background on their approach.

      This is drastically different from how other companies / publishers handle games after they acquire them. We all know how this often turns out. And that's why we did reject offers from those types of companies.

      It was very important for us that we have the independence to continue to run the game as before - with exactly the same team and the same core philosophy. That's what made Albion successful in the past and will allow us to take the game even further in the future.

      Will there be any changes to the overall vision of the game? Will the dev team still have control over the game’s development?
      There are no plans whatsoever to change Albion Online's game design philosophy, road map or vision for the game.

      Sandbox Interactive's staff and management remain unchanged and all the founders of the company will fully stay on board.

      We will continue to work on the game exactly as we have done before and, as always, in close collaboration with the community.

      What happens to your business model? Will your stance on micro-transactions change? Will Albion Online transform into a Pay-To-Win game?
      There are no plans at all to change the underlying business model of the game - i.e. premium, gold (for premium or vanity) and vanity items. Our business model is extremely solid, works well and is accepted by the players. It will work just as well on mobile - in particular, given that Albion Online is a cross-platform game.

      On top of that, adding "p2w" elements to Albion Online would almost certainly make it less profitable as a business. It does not make business sense to alienate our player. Albion has always been built in close collaboration with the community and a lot of its success is ultimately based on that - having a fair and solid business model is part of that arrangement. There is absolutely no reason to change this.
    • I wish SBI the best of luck with Stillfront, and I hope that it only brings good things to the future of Albion.

      I just hope with this change that we stop seeing ads from Alpha. (SBI update the ads please).

      EDIT Making this easier to see because this is the first reply.

      LINK to Stillfront's Presentation page: stillfront.com/en/reports-presentations/

      In the most recent one they talk about the acquisition (that's what this is don't sugar coat it). On their site you can also clearly see the companies business model, history, and how their structured.

      Before deciding for yourselves if this is a good thing research Stillfront.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Cessari ().

    • Eltharyon wrote:

      Dear Albion Community,

      As you might have read in the news, Sandbox Interactive will be joining Stillfront in January 2021. Stillfront consists of a family of game studios that largely work independently, while sharing knowledge and expertise between them to support each other.

      For the past eight years, we have been building Albion Online up completely on our own - everything from development, to marketing, translations, customer support has been built up by ourselves. Now that Albion is growing at a massive rate, we realize that being on our own is not always an advantage. There are just too many things we’d have to master, and while we believe no one can develop Albion Online better than we can, there are plenty of areas around the game itself where we could benefit from additional expertise. This is why we decided to join the Stillfront Family. The partnership with Stillfront allows us to remain fully invested in Albion Online and its development, focusing on making the best Sandbox MMORPG experience in the world, while benefiting from Stillfront’s expertise in marketing and publishing to spread the word of Albion Online around the world.

      For you, the players, this will mean more people to play with, more capacities for development of patches and updates, and simply more Albion Online as we continue to grow the game over the coming years.
      With this ending to 2020, we’re looking forward to a bright future for Albion Online in 2021 and beyond.

      Please let us know what questions you have about this in the comments below!
      • Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys, CEO & The Sandbox Interactive Founder Team

      This is great to read about, I'm curious what Stillfront's capacity in PR and Marketing will be, my one concern is that they haven't even announced this... Also they seem very focused on the mobile games market... But I don't think that'd be too bad of a thing for the company since that's where the growth market lies.
    • GeoffreiCharny wrote:

      Eltharyon wrote:

      Dear Albion Community,

      As you might have read in the news, Sandbox Interactive will be joining Stillfront in January 2021. Stillfront consists of a family of game studios that largely work independently, while sharing knowledge and expertise between them to support each other.

      For the past eight years, we have been building Albion Online up completely on our own - everything from development, to marketing, translations, customer support has been built up by ourselves. Now that Albion is growing at a massive rate, we realize that being on our own is not always an advantage. There are just too many things we’d have to master, and while we believe no one can develop Albion Online better than we can, there are plenty of areas around the game itself where we could benefit from additional expertise. This is why we decided to join the Stillfront Family. The partnership with Stillfront allows us to remain fully invested in Albion Online and its development, focusing on making the best Sandbox MMORPG experience in the world, while benefiting from Stillfront’s expertise in marketing and publishing to spread the word of Albion Online around the world.

      For you, the players, this will mean more people to play with, more capacities for development of patches and updates, and simply more Albion Online as we continue to grow the game over the coming years.
      With this ending to 2020, we’re looking forward to a bright future for Albion Online in 2021 and beyond.

      Please let us know what questions you have about this in the comments below!
      • Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys, CEO & The Sandbox Interactive Founder Team

      This is great to read about, I'm curious what Stillfront's capacity in PR and Marketing will be, my one concern is that they haven't even announced this... Also they seem very focused on the mobile games market... But I don't think that'd be too bad of a thing for the company since that's where the growth market lies.
      They (referring to Stillfront) have already posted about this on their website. Link: stillfront.com/en/stillfront-g…ee-to-play-mmorpg-studio/
    • Tamashiii wrote:

      Is there anything we should expect after the buy out? In terms of balance changes or the overall control the dev team has over the game?

      There are no changes to our game design plans, road map or vision for the game. The actual Sandbox Interactive team is staying exactly as it is before and all the founders of the company will fully stay on board.

      Stillfront's structure and approach is very different from that of other large companies in the gaming space. Their core idea is to identify and acquire gaming studios that are strong on their own and then letting them continue doing what they are best at - making their games - while offering a strong support structure for things such as marketing.

      See this interview with Stillfront's COO for some background on their approach.
    • Big news, congratulations!

      Mine and many others have been asking this since we got wind of the buy-out;

      Will anything change on the stance of micro-transactions? Or will Albion Online stay the same with Vanity & Gold Packs purchases with irl money?

      And I am glad the full team is staying, including the founders.


      Edit - I just listened to the Stillfront Group conference call this morning and when talking about Albion Online and the mobile launch coming in H1 of 2021, they want to "expand in-app purchases", can you expand of that?
      Tired of LAGGING in-game? Try ExitLag;
      Use my link & code 'ROBIN' for 20% off any plan!
      exitl.ag/robin
      youtube.com/c/robinhoodrs

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Robinhoodrs ().

    • Hopefully this move will not affect Albion's pricing policy. And the prices for the purchase of in-game valuables are not expected to rise.


      In general, this is the right step, I wish you good luck.
      В любой непонятной ситуации говорите: Всё идёт по плану. Мало ли какой у вас там дурацкий план.
    • Congratulations with your new acquisition :)

      My question is about the position of the community as a stakeholder in the game. The successful recipe Sandbox have reached has partly been the feedback of the community in the decision-making process.

      The concerns I have are potential structural changes in the future and the impact the community has on them. I would like to ask you, Robin, to underline the commitment that Albion online has a “Player Driven Economy” and would not make structural changes in the future to the In-game economy without the consent of the player base.

      Thanks for your time and awaiting a response,


      Dexz
    • felipe128 wrote:

      Stillfront games are all (mostly) pay to win. Check their mobile games and make a conclusion yourself.

      I'd expect very soon they launch real money paid "vanity" items that makes you invulnerable or increases your damage/health, etc.

      If that happens indeed, imagine any content (specially zvzs) with a horde of invulnerable players.
      I imagine the introduction of paid skins that have been launched were proof of concept that led to being acquired by stillfront.
    • Cronder wrote:

      felipe128 wrote:

      Stillfront games are all (mostly) pay to win. Check their mobile games and make a conclusion yourself.

      I'd expect very soon they launch real money paid "vanity" items that makes you invulnerable or increases your damage/health, etc.

      If that happens indeed, imagine any content (specially zvzs) with a horde of invulnerable players.
      I imagine the introduction of paid skins that have been launched were proof of concept that led to being acquired by stillfront.
      Paid skins aren't the issue. LOL, Free fire, Overwatch, etc. has paid vanity items. That ain't the issue. As long as it's just vanity.

      Problem will be when those vanities comes with special spells/passive spells, and unbalance the game and the gameplay.

      Since the game has been introduced into the Asian market (China and Korea), it's well known that those players are highly competitive and have/are willing to spend plenty of dollars in-game, if such players are granted the possibility to compete with "older" playerbase in an unbalanced way, they will.

      On the other side, companies seek profits. The reports are that SBI had earned (approximately, based on the last quarter report) EUR 3.1m/month. As per the report, it's been a very lucrative scenario. But y'all know, greed.

      Edit 1: the report also mentions that SBI will hold 30% of the shares, I see this as positive (at least at a glance), but we all know minor stakeholders have no voice in decision-making processes.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by felipe128: Corrected numbers of the last quarter report. ().