UPDATE: Zach Sharpes got this ad to pop up on Facebook yesterday:

breakaway-fb-ad

And Magicman says there was a section on the Amazon website that also labeled the game as a “free sports brawler,” thought that section is now gone. We’re trying to get a contact at AGS to confirm or deny these findings and will update you as we find out more.

Original story: Amazon Game Studios made a big splash at this weekend’s Twitchcon, announcing three new online games: battle-royale-style game Crucible, sandbox/survival MMORPG New World, and arena brawler/e-sports hopeful Breakaway. The first two categories of games haven’t found much success in the free-to-play market (with Daybreak having arguably failed on both counts), but the third still has a strong presence. AGS hasn’t made any official announcement regarding Breakaway’s payment model, so that leaves us free to speculate on exactly what it’ll be.

A year ago, I would have considered this no-brainer: of course Breakaway will be F2P, it’s just how games like this are done these days. Then came Overwatch, which turned the paradigm for arena brawlers upside down, being a paid competitive game that turned out to be hugely successful. Granted, it had the development power and marketing might of Blizzard behind it, two factors that proved more than sufficient for breaking the stranglehold of F2P on the competitive PvP genre. With them, you get a big success like Overwatch; without them, you get Battleborn.

Does AGS have those same elements in place for non-F2P success? The dev team is certainly star-studded, with veterans from Portal, Guild Wars 2, Far Cry 2, and the acquisition of Double Helix (Killer Instinct reboot), though it remains to be seen if all these superstars can work together efficiently. The marketing budget and overall “presence” of Amazon and Twitch is also arguably on par with Blizzard, so all the pieces would seem to be in place for a full-price retail launch for Breakaway.

And then there’s the Twitch integration, which will allow viewers to “gamble” on matches using a new kind of currency, thus allowing people to be invested in the game without playing – or paying for – it (and won’t be abused at all, I’m sure).

breakaway-spartacus

So if the majority of signs point to Breakaway being priced at full retail, let me try to play devil’s advocate for a moment and argue for a free-to-play Breakaway.

As much potential as they might have, Amazon Game Studios is not Blizzard. They don’t have tens of millions of people already playing their games, and while Amazon itself is huge, only a small percentage of its customer base is likely to be gamers, much less gamers interested in a PvP arena brawler. Going F2P with Breakaway could help build up its player base and get more bodies in the door, not only for Breakaway, but for its future, likely non-F2P, titles.

The synergy could work in the other direction, too. While microtransactions in paid games are hardly unknown, they’re much more prevalent in F2P games. Drawing people to an Amazon transaction page more frequently could be beneficial – hey, while you’re buying that skin, why not pick up the latest DVD, hat, or other item you’ve been eyeing for a while?

Oh, and when you’re making those purchases? Get in the habit of using Amazon Payments, not PayPal…

breakaway-arena

If you put a gun to my head right now and forced me to choose Breakaway’s payment model, I’d probably say buy-to-play. But I can see a few arguments for free-to-play, and we’ve been surprised before. Amazon Game Studios isn’t looking to be an independent developer, satisfied with a tiny piece of the gaming pie. It’s already made some bold and unexpected moves, from its hires to its game announcements, and more could be on the way.

What do you think? Will Breakaway – or any of Amazon Game Studios’ other titles – be free-to-play?

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

11 Readers Commented

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  1. Hellsworth on October 11, 2016

    F’real more competitive games that will get you either mad at someone or being yelled at…. it’s exactly what the world needs at the moment!

  2. Merkadis on October 4, 2016

    Looks boring.
    This better get more gaming modes and fast.
    Perhaps overhaul class abilities as well, they also looked dreadfully boring.

    • no name on October 11, 2016

      why dont you make a game better than this?

  3. trionisshit on October 4, 2016

    No need this shit for free, let the degenarates pay for this poop! Poor asians will play this shit 24/7 for sure if they reward with small cash amount!

    • no name on October 11, 2016

      speak about sh1t when you are one of the biggest sh1t from internet.

  4. bluegets on October 4, 2016

    well i wouldnt pay $1 for this its just water polo without the water , small maps nothing special at all .

    seems boring to watch and prob the same with playing. the paid commentary and fake enthusiasm doesnt even make it sound better

    • no name on October 11, 2016

      make your own game and see how people slam you to the ground.

      • Nope on November 14, 2016

        Triggered. It’s their opinion. If you don’t like it then why did you come to the comment section?

  5. Jeremy "Gaming" Curious on October 3, 2016

    WOw this game actually looks really good, gonna be watching it

    • no name on October 11, 2016

      yea,its nice and people like those retards don`t undestand that this is alpha test,its not even beta,and they want more modes to play and maps,when this is all about finding the bugs,making optimizations and other stuff….
      That`s why almost all of the games that come out becomes P2W,because of companies that are retards like the people who speak sh1t about games that has potential and don`t stand a chance,because people don`t want something knew,they was games like WoW or Metin or something like that….
      There is no imagination in their little brains at all.

  6. Trump on October 3, 2016

    Build a wall!

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