The free-to-play action RPG Path of Exile
went into open beta this past January, and the next step is putting together a version 1.0, Grinding Gear Games co-founder Chris Wilson told us this week at GDC 2013. Starting with about 250,000 registered players, the game has since grown up to around 2 million, with the devs fixing bugs and providing weekly patches since then.
The weekly patches, which have been adding new skills and items to the game, will continue to roll out. But version 1.0 is going to be the game's full release, when the "open beta" tag comes off, and the game "will be reviewable," according to Wilson. The update will add a full story to the game's Act 3, including lots of new monsters and items, and "do the stuff we had to cut corners on" throughout the game's development, Wilson said.
After that, "we intend to do expansions over the next five to ten years," Wilson told us. The team has no set plans for releases, and if they can put a major feature together in less time, then Wilson says they'll do it. The game already had a lot of success with "races," which are special events that challenge players
to speedrun the game under special conditions. But in general, he said, given the current player base, "adding a new act to the game is probably a once a year thing."