The question whether Albion Online should be called Pay to Win often comes in various discussions here in the forums. As the debate has become really hard to follow, we thought it would be good to have one master thread for the topic, starting with a summary of how the game works right now, followed by a summary of the arguments that are being made in the debate. Other threads on the subject will be forwarded to this thread, so we have got everything in one place.
In a previous debate on the subject, the result of a user poll was that 49% of users did not consider Albion Online to be pay to win, 31% did - with 20% being undecided. As our main goal is for Albion Online to be successful in the long term, we determined that 31% voting "yes" was too much for us and made a significant change to the business model by removing gold payments from the game with the exception of premium status and Albion Online Items. As before, gold remains freely tradable between players.
Consequently, the arguments outlined below have been updated. Those that are now obsolete have been struck through, while a new one has been added.
We hope that the above gives you a good summary of how Albion Online works and the associated pay to win debate.
We realize that different people have different understandings what the term "pay to win" actually means, and as it eventually comes down to definitions of that meaning, there is probably no absolute "rights" or "wrongs" in the debate - it is ultimately a question of taste.
It is however our view and clear intention - and we believe that the past tests are showing this arlready - that the game is not and will not turn into a pay to win game.