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Disney Dreamlight Valley ditches free-to-play release plan

And announces major paid expansion.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Rift in Time artwork shows the player character in a fantasy world flanked by Gaston from Beauty in the Beast and Rapunzel.
Image credit: Gameloft

Popular licensed life sim Disney Dreamlight Valley will no longer transition to a free-to-play model when it drops its early access moniker.

Developer Gameloft revealed today that its game would leave early access on 5th December but retain its early access price point (and indeed, it will also get pricier physical and special digital editions with extra currency and cosmetics bundled in).

On top of that, there's word of a major new expansion to the game, which will also come with a $30 price tag. Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Rift In Time will introduce new biomes and yet more characters to the base game, and is set to be fully detailed in a video showcase to be broadcast next Wednesday, 1st November at 5pm UK time.

A look at Disney Dreamlight Valley's Remembering Update that launched in June 2023.Watch on YouTube

Disney Dreamlight Valley launched in early access just over a year ago, on 6th September 2022 for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and was made available through Xbox Game Pass.

Currently sold via a Founders Pack, the game was eventually intended to become free-to-play, and funded by various monetisation opens which have been slowly added over the last 12 months. The life sim now offers a premium in-game store and a monthly season pass, funded by a premium in-game currency. Gameloft's blog post today suggests all of this would continue, alongside further free content updates which add new characters, realms and items.

"As we look ahead to the official launch, with the learnings we've gained from Early Access, we've made the decision to remain a paid game for the foreseeable future," Gameloft wrote. "This means we will not make the transition to be a free-to-play game when we leave Early Access on 5th December.

"This choice ensures that Disney Dreamlight Valley will be able to continue delivering on a premium game experience for all players. It's important to us that we maintain our promise to keep delivering free content updates that add new characters, realms, clothing, furniture, and more surprises to your Valley."

Going into further detail, Gameloft promised its monetised items would remain "fair" and players will still be able to collect some via in-game activities.

"Purchases requiring moonstones will remain optional, fair, and match the level of quality players have come to expect. Players will still be able to collect free Moonstones via Dream Snaps and Chests, or optionally choose to purchase them."

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