After almost a year of silence since PAX Prime 2015, LawBreakers the new asymmetrical arena shooter by CliffyB’s new studio Boss Key Productions has not only changed its logo and character art, but it will no longer be Free2Play (F2P). They have not said how much it will cost, only that it will now be a premium purchase only available (at least initially) on Steam.
One game changing its monetization scheme wouldn’t be that big a deal, but recently Blizzard also announced that their shooter Overwatch would also be ditching F2P, and they will be releasing their tittle for $40 this May. It was speculated that Battleborn from Gearbox would be F2P as well, but Randy Pitchford made it clear that they only release AAA full price tittles. It seems, at least with bigger studios, that the money just isn’t there for F2P unless you are a MOBA (Think Dota 2 or League of Legends) or an MMO (Star Wars: The Old Republic or The Elder Scrolls Online).
I for one am quite happy about this change. As much as I have enjoyed Dirty Bomb by Splash Damage it is annoying to not have all the characters, or at least a good portion of them, and even if you do drop the money to get all the characters you still need to spend money to outfit them properly. Meaning that you are most likely only going to get a couple of characters and then just outfit them which is a shame since half of the fun with asymmetrical shooters is playing with all the random different play styles.
We will see if this trend continues, but I kind of hope it does. I will be keeping an eye on Epic Games’ Paragon to see if it follows suit. If Free2Play dies, I don’t think anyone will morn its death. It works for a few games out there, but not for everything.