Bethesda's and id's Quake Champions Is Free-to-Play, But Only Barely
After months of speculation, Bethesda and id Software finally revealed the business model for its upcoming multiplayer online shooter, Quake Champions. It technically meets the definition of free-to-play -- you'll be able to download and hop in for free -- but it's unlikely to be viewed that way by most gamers.
In an interview with Polygon, Creative Director Tim Willits explained that you'll be able to play a single champion, Ranger, for free. If you want to play more, your options are:
* Purchase the Champion Pack, i.e., the full game, and gain access to all champions; or
* Farm up Favor, the in-game currency, which you can spend to unlock a champion -- for a limited time.
We don't yet know the cost of the Champions Pack or what it'll take to unlock a champion or for how long it will be. Regardless, It feels like Bethesda and id were going for something like Overwatch, with its single price, but also trying to include a free trial.
However, by emphatically stating, "At its core, it’s a free-to-play game," Willits is trying to get additional press for the game's F2P-ness but will probably just face backlash for its stinginess. I don't have a problem with the game being B2P, as I spelled out after talking with Bethesda's Pete Hines at QuakeCon last year, but trying to "double-dip" like this leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. It also makes this quote from the Polygon article (not directly from Willits) even more strange:
Ultimately, the free-to-play community will be competing on an even playing field with paying players. Each Champion’s skills will be different and complementary in a rock-paper-scissors kind of way, but they’ll be available to everyone.
So, if the champions counter each other, RPS-style, and F2P players only have access to one... how is that an even playing field?
All this means that we won't be covering Quake Champions as a free-to-play game here on MMOBomb, unless something about its business model changes. Any old-school Quake players out there who were looking forward to this?
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About 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.
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That's fine, at least you get to try out the game / test the class(es) that interest you most before you buy.