Amazon has announced its massively multiplayer online RPG New World will be switching to a new seasonal release model - complete with a battle-pass-style Season Pass - from 28th March.
To date, New World's monetisation (after an initial full-price purchase) has largely be focused around a cosmetics-based premium shop but, from March, players will have the option to purchase the new Season Pass' 100-tier paid reward track as part of a shift to a three-month seasonal release model. A free track will also be also available.
To progress through a Season Pass and unlock the likes of emotes, skins, gear, Boost Tokens, and "other seasonal loot", players will need to earn Season XP by completing objectives in the new Season Journey, Challenges, and Activity Card. XP can also be accrued through Quests, Faction Missions, Town Projects, Expedition Bosses, Outpost Rush, 3v3 Arenas, and more.
Amazon says each season's paid Premium Track will cost 20,000 Marks of Fortune (a bundle of 23,000 costs $19.99/around £16 in New World's store) and, in the FAQ accompanying today's announcement, insists the new Season Pass isn't a form of pay-to-win, despite the inclusion of Boost Tokens - which offer "temporary quality of life conveniences" - and gear, which it says will be capped at 600 Gear Score and won't feature unique perks not found in-game.
New World's first season is titled Fellowship & Fire and includes a new story, The Silver Crows, plus the new Empyrean Forge expedition, the new tornado-conjuring Fire Storm Heartrune ability, plus a new gear set option enabling players to quickly switch between favourite configurations (new slots must be unlocked with premium currency or via the Season Pass).
Amazon also promises a revamp for New World's Weaver's Fen and Brightwood main story quest, plus various seasonal events when Fellowship & Fire gets underway on 28th March.