Today we’re ready to share the new direction of Zenith. You will likely have questions after reading this so we encourage you to come join the Discord AMA we’re hosting later today at 1:30PM PST.
Recently, we covered our Design Pillars and The “Why”, sharing that we had to make a choice between making fundamental changes or putting the game on ice. I’d like to shed some more light on what that looked like:
We broke Zenith down into its best and worst parts, debated for hours and hours over weeks and months what can and can’t make it into Zenith Nexus. What pieces worked well together and what didn't. We evaluated how we can best provide polished content with a small, passionate team. We pored over the player data and written feedback, noting where players spent most of their time and where they were churning (leaving the game, never to return again). We observed the direction of the VR market and its growing younger audience.
Reimagining Zenith was an incredibly arduous process. And now where we’ve landed is looking quite different…but we are genuinely thrilled by the prospects of the new direction!
As we sourced feedback from the private 1:1 user testings, limited pre-alpha, and hundreds of players in the Closed Alpha (happening right now), the new version of Zenith began to take shape into something of its own: a new game mode.
So looking forward, what does this mean for Zenith?
Zenith: Nexus - The collective name for our two game modes, Zenith: The Last City and Zenith: Infinite Realms. Zenith: Nexus will be free, opening the doors to millions of new players. Your game will automatically update to Zenith: Nexus when we launch the next update.
Zenith: The Last City - The open-world VR MMO we all know and love. This is not going anywhere and will still be available for purchase at the same price as DLC. Existing Zenith players obviously retain their ownership of The Last City, and any progress they made prior.
Zenith: Infinite Realms - A new season-based free to play procedural action-adventure RPG with co-op sessions, a revamped locomotion system that pushes the boundaries of immersive play, redesigned social playground and more! We’ll unveil more in the coming days. For now enjoy this teaser on the new locomotion system:
Zennies - A new virtual currency coming to Zenith. This is to allow players more opportunities to express themselves and access seasonal content. A small cosmetic shop will be available when Zenith: Infinite Realms launches with more being added all the time.
TL;DR - A player can hop into Zenith for free and play Zenith: Infinite Realms while having the option to purchase Zenith: The Last City as DLC. If you purchase The Last City before Infinite Realms launches, that’s still yours to keep and not going anywhere. We’re also thinking of ways to reward those who played The Last City before Infinite Realms launches.
Going free to play will boost the social multiplayer experience. The new virtual currency and shop will open an avenue for revenue we never had before. With an arcade-like experience that’s more accessible than ever we’re inviting millions of new players to Zenith: Nexus and potentially The Last City too.
Tackling the Impossible
The decisions we’ve made to get here we do not take lightly. We take full ownership of what Zenith: The Last City succeeded and failed at and aim to bring all its learnings into Infinite Realms and beyond.
To all of you, our community, and especially the dedicated players that stuck with us, those with hundreds if not thousands of hours poured into Zenith: The Last City…
We see you and we appreciate you sticking with us. As a community and dev team, we tackled one of the hardest game genres to build (MMORPGs) in one of the most difficult mediums (VR) and truly made it our own. Your feedback shaped The Last City into the most beloved VR MMORPG of all time. How many VR MMOs out there allow you to swing around, make friends across the world, explore an open world, run raids, customize your house, battle in PVP, cook, play chess?
Respect the Grind
Although Zenith: Infinite Realms is an entirely new game mode, we’re excited to give The Last City players an exclusive opportunity to boost their first character in Infinite Realms to match the level of their The Last City character as well as the first paid cosmetic on the store for free. We’re also looking at ways to reward the item grind. We care about all your investment, and want to make sure you can enjoy both experiences as much as possible.
From the bottom of our hearts: Thank You.
Together, we left an impact on the history of VR and immersive experiences, built friendships that will exist beyond any game's life cycle, and formed an inclusive welcoming community we should all be proud of. Let’s continue building the future of Zenith hand-in-hand.
For a little while it’s going to be difficult to ignore the playback tape of Zenith: The Last City – what went well and what didn’t over the past 4+ years. It can make us sad to think about, but we’ll continue to reflect and take away learnings and feedback for years to come.
We hope you’ll be open to giving Zenith: Infinite Realms a shot. We truly believe it has something refreshing and fun for everyone to enjoy.
All of us at Ramen VR