A pair of developers were scooped up this week, which left us here at MMOBomb wondering if their latest games could be headed into the free-to-play space in the near future.
Yesterday, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout developer Mediatonic, and its parent group Tonic Games, announced that it was “joining forces” with Epic Games. The press release was careful not to use words like “bought” or “sold” — even though that’s pretty likely what happened. A FAQ posted on the Mediatonic site provided all the usual assurances — that nothing would change about Fall Guys, that it was still slated for release on the Switch and Xbox X|S, and that the devs will “stay super close” with the community.
Then there was this quick and curious exchange: The simple question “Free-to-Play?” was answered with the equally brief “Nothing to announce right now!” The fact that the question was brought up — by Mediatonic itself — and answered with the caveat of “right now” would lead one to believe that free-to-play Fall Guys is indeed something that’s being discussed.
As I speculated regarding the potential for Among Us to go F2P, maybe Mediatonic will wait for a spell after Fall Guys launches on other platforms, take in that initial sales money, and then announce a free-to-play transition. Those console launches are currently slated for “summer,” so any F2P move probably wouldn’t come until very late this year or early next, at least.
In other news, Zynga announced today that it has acquired Torchlight III developer Echtra Games from Perfect World Entertainment. That game was originally supposed to be the free-to-play Torchlight Frontiers, only to change its name and payment model late in development.
Thus far, the results haven’t been all that great. The game languishes on Steam with Mixed reviews, and while it is available elsewhere, it only hovers around 200 active players at any one time on that platform.
Its lackluster performance probably played a role in PWE’s willingness to part ways with the Echtra team. Toss in its conception as a F2P game and Zynga’s propensity for the field, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it shift back to its original form in an effort to boost its fortunes.
Would you like to see either Fall Guys or Torchlight III go free-to-play? How about both, or neither? Let us know in the comments below!