Fans of tumbling platformer Rolando may have noticed the absence of its third installment from the App Store. Due November last year, Neil Young of ngmoco told IGN the reason for its non-existance is because Rolando 3 has been canceled – for the time being at least. Adopting a popular MMO pricing strategy, ngmoco have decided to develop games for a free-to-play model. This means that some of the game is offered for free but add-ons like levels, in-game items and characters will be charged for. Rolando 3 was being developed before such a dramatic shift in company ethics took place and now doesn’t fit within this structure:
“When we made the decision to go free-to-play, we said to ourselves, ‘Look. If we can’t make the game free-to-play, we’re not going to release it.’ And Rolando 3 as it was envisioned at that time was not a free-to-play product. So we’ve just taken the time to try to figure out how to do that franchise really effectively in free-to-play space. We’re thinking about it and at the appropriate moment we’ll deliver a new Rolando experience that takes full advantage of everything we’ve learned from the free-to-play world.”
Rolando 3 may be out of the question but it looks like the jolly Loco Roco inspired series will take on a new form at some point in the future. Personally I prefer a solid demo or lite version of a game leading into a complete package over free-to-play but it clearly works for some companies and ngmoco seems determined to make it work for them too.