Godus, the next release from Peter Molyneux-led 22Cans, will feature a monetization system "that hasn't existed before," the studio head told PocketGamer.
Molyneux describes the current, and often troubled, system of free-to-play mobile titles as "taking a huge hammer and smashing our customers with it. We're saying 'Be patient or pay money.' That's not a delightful mechanic. That's not going to get people to invest their money." Comparatively, he says the monetization system used in Godus won't even allow players to access an in-game store until they are deemed ready.
Godus' microtransactions will instead experiment with in-game stores following on from the studio's earlier free-to-play attempt: The Molyneux-developed social experiment-meets-box tapping game Curiosity.
According to Molyneux, the team is working to see how they can "put as much inventiveness and creativity into people paying money into a game as we would any other mechanic." In Curiosity, users were able to troll the system by purchasing tools that could add extra cubes to the cube-smashing game.
The recent revamp of Dungeon Keeper, whose earlier iteration was the work of Molyneux himself, should be taken as a lesson in how not to develop microtransaction systems, he said.
"The free-to-play mechanic was so dominant that it obscured all the fantastic work they did. It was like a horrible odor," said Molyneux. "I wanted to play and keep on playing and keep on playing. But I just kept getting beaten up for being an impatient gamer."
Molyneux has been vocal about his dislike for the reboot. Last week, he called the mobile release "ridiculous," stating: "I felt myself turning round saying, 'What? This is ridiculous. I just want to make a dungeon. I don't want to schedule it on my alarm clock for six days to come back for a block to be chipped."
Godus began on Kickstarter, where 22Cans raised more than £525,000. The beta opened last fall for Windows PC and Mac, with the eventual release of the full game scheduled for this year.