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Champions Online to have item sales?

"No finalised plans" - Cryptic.

Cryptic may be considering including microtransactions in its forthcoming suerphero MMO Champions Online, going by the beta test.

Eurogamer gained access to the Champions Online beta last weekend. We noticed that the game's menu features an option called "Champions Store". When selected, this brings up an error message mentioning the word "microtransactions".

We contacted Cryptic for comment. "As you may have noticed in the recent play test for Champions Online, we are currently testing functionality for in-game transactions," the developer replied in a statement.

"Virtual asset sales are a necessary component of the greater Cryptic platform since we plan on working on a number of different titles using our technology platform. At present we do not have any finalised plans for how and if these will be implemented in future releases."

Cryptic plans to release Champions Online as a standard subscription MMO when it makes its North American and European debut on PC on July 14th. And chief creative officer Jack Emmert has previously made his dislike of microtransactions a matter of public record, telling a GDC panel last year that "they make me want to die".

But it now seems that the developer is open to supplementing subscriptions with revenue from item sales - as Sony Online Entertainment has done with EverQuest - or perhaps employing them in less subscription-friendly markets like Asia.

Incidentally, we very much enjoyed our brief run around the first few levels of the game, and will bring you a comprehensive beta report on Champions Online in the coming weeks.