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?

8 COMMENTS

  1. So it’s basically an extended trial.

    That’s fine, at least you get to try out the game / test the class(es) that interest you most before you buy.

    • Only the Ranger class is available for free. Gotta pay for the rest, or grind for favors.

      But the “unlock a champion — for a limited time” concerns me. I avoid games that “rent” things.

      • Don’t think of it as a free to play game, think of it as a trial.

        Buying the game perma unlocks all classes. The temporary unlocks are just so that you can get a feel for the classes you want to play before you take the plunge and buy the full game.

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