Tag Archive | free to play

How could StarCraft go Free-to-Play?

During the Valencia eSports Congress panel, StarCraft 2 Lead Designer Dustin Browder commented that Blizzard was “looking at free-to-play as an option” in the game’s multiplayer mode. Its an idea many will initially scoff at. Even Browder admitted “We don’t know how we would monetize it. While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, that’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for them.” This statement is more than true, as anyone who has played a F2P game typically bemoans the “pay-to-win” portion of the game.

But I don’t believe anyone is thinking very clearly about how this game would work in a F2P capacity. StarCraft 2 could potentially be a huge F2P game if we get out of the idea that monetizing pieces of the game itself will do the trick. Many consider StarCraft to be the competitive gaming experience of today and opening that experience up to even more people (and monetizing it for the people already playing) could be bigger than games that have mastered the F2P formula such as Riot’s League of Legends or WarGaming.net’s World of Tanks. Lets take a look at some ways Blizzard could consider moving to this model.

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What I’m Playing: Super Monday Night Combat

After being so bad at action RTS style games, but still loving to play them a lot, maybe its no surprise that I’ve really taken a shine to Uber Entertainment’s Super Monday Night Combat.

A sequel of sorts to the original Monday Night Combat, SMNC takes a lot of what made the original great, but more importantly removes a lot of the stuff that we didn’t like.

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What I’m playing: Tribes Ascend

Its a weird time in gaming when you play something that feels so new, but its actually over a decade old.  Today I’m playing Tribes: Ascend, the new free-to-play game by Hi-Rez studios, based on the now crazy-old Tribes franchise.

What happened to Tribes?  Back in 2001 Sierra released Tribes 2 and many fans believed this game was the definitive Tribes experience with jetpacks, spinfusors and skiing.  It was perfectly balanced and unique gameplay with an addictive quality.  But it was also one of the last games of what I’d like to call the “sliding shooter” genre, games like Quake and the original Unreal Tournament, where players moved quickly across big maps and had big amounts of health and armor.  These days the sliding shooter has been largely taken over by the “crouch-and-sprint” shooters we’re all so familiar with, like Counter-Strike, Halo and Call of Duty, to the point where many have completely forgotten about the old shooters, or may have only grown up with the new style (yea, I’m willing to concede I’m getting older).

So now Tribes: Ascend has been released and even though the formula is over a decade old, it feels brand-new.  Suffice it to say that nobody is really doing a game like this right now.  Let’s take a look:

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Its the onslaught of free-to-play games!

Some might call it “free-to-play”, some even like to call it “freemium”, but either way they’re just games that don’t cost you a thing to enjoy.  Recently a bunch of free-to-play offerings cropped up in their final, “released” state and are ready to offer you hours of enjoyment at no up-front cost (man I sound like a loan shark when I say that).  Here’s a quick look at 3 free-to-play offerings recently released.

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2012 may be the year of free-to-play MechWarrior games

With a free-to-play game coming in from the MechWarrior universe soon, I was more than a little surprised to find out that a turn-based strategy game called MechWarrior Tactics would be coming out for the series soon.  Well, I guess I shouldn’t be completely surprised, but let’s face it: MechWarrior has never had anything to do with turn-based strategy games (but it has at least had a couple quality RTS ones).

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Command and Conquer free-to-play game announced, named “Tiberium Alliances”

Oh, so that’s what they were going to call “Alliances”.

Last week it was rumored that Bioware may be making the next Command & Conquer game and some iplookups revealed the name of the game might be called Command & Conquer Alliances.  Once we found out that game would actually be Generals 2, I only briefly paused to wonder “yea, but what was that alliances name all about?” before jumping right back into my excitement for another Generals game.

Well, EA has just announced that a free-to-play game under the title Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances will be coming out not just soon, but today!  It goes into beta and after you watch the trailer with the extremely campy rock backround music you’ll realize why they might have kept it hush-hush for awhile.

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