The Agency downplays subs, will have ads

Spy MMO considers revenue options.

We've known for a while that Sony Online Entertainment hasn't decided exactly how its PS3 and PC espionage MMO, The Agency, is going to make money.

In an interview with Kikizo, designer Kevin O'Hara has revealed that the jury's still out - but that SOE is leaning away from full subscritptions and towards advertising revenue.

"We're acutely aware that shooter players are not used to playing monthly fees, so I doubt we'll go for an outright USD 15 a month," O'Hara said.

"We'll definitely have some ad revenue models. The Agency's the perfect place for some in-game product placement," he added, presumably meaning the contemporary setting and aspirational materialism of the glamorous spy lifestyle. The producers of recent James Bond films would certainly agree.

As the company has noted before, The Agency will follow the findings from SOE's forthcoming family MMO Free Realms, a free-to-play game which includes every kind of revenue stream imaginable, from advertising to premium subscriptions, micro-transactions and a trading card game to be produced by Topps.

"We're checking out Free Realms to see how they're going to do with their micro-transactions, and we might incorporate some of that," O'Hara said.

However, earlier this year, lead designer Hal Milton told Eurogamer that micro-transactions wouldn't be used to sell game items.

We'll be seeing more of The Agency next year, and we can't wait.

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