Call it an experiment. Uncharted 3 is by all means a title purchased primarily for its single player campaign, but Naughty Dog wants to expand the game’s multiplayer horizons to include those who don’t own the game. To do this they have created a standalone free-to-play multiplayer client available for download in the PS3 store. Unfortunately, unlike CCP’s recent console exclusive F2P FPS Dust 514, this standalone is what you would call a freemium title. The f2p multiplayer comes with a severe level cap restriction which only allows players to level up to 15 without paying, although players continue to have access to all the competitive multiplayer options without having to remove the level cap.

Players who want to remove the level cap can do so by either raising the level cap to 25 by paying $4.99 or by removing the level cap altogether (increasing the max rank to 75) by paying $19.99. At that price point you are essentially buying a bargain bin multiplayer only game. As a small consolation prize if you purchased a level increase after maxing out, Naughty Dog will retro-actively award you levels you would have accumulated had you not been restricted by the cap. Yay….

According to Joystiq, when asked why Naughty Dog was pursuing this type of business model, the response was that they were” just trying to see what people might gravitate to” and that the “studio’s plan to go free-to-play is an attempt to accomplish two goals: reinvigorate the pool of Uncharted 3 players and test the freemium waters.”

My thoughts? The freemium waters are a stagnant pond waiting to dry up. Freemium is a tough business model to sell when you have developers like Grinding Gear giving away a full game with no restrictions for free. If console developers want to have any chance at competing in the free-to-play market they need to start thinking in terms of 2013’s F2P model and not 2007.

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Actually I haven’t played other games for long…but I wanna taste Age of Wushu recently. Some says it’s featured by Eastern Kongfu, with no class and level. My dish!

  2. i just hope that western games start developing games that are more optimised and dont hog on hardware. take age of wushu for instance, a stunning game that can even run on a basic rig.

  3. Uhg, I downloaded this last night, played one round and have to say, just like the uncharted multiplayers before it, it is scattered with immature men of multiple nationality that act like they are from the Bronx or something, yelling “Nigga” this and “Nigga” that, this is why I hate the English language, all the slang in it makes it such an ugly language. Anyways if you do not wanna hear stupid immature men and boys getting pissed off because you shot them in the back while they were climbing a wall, like they are supposed to be invincible while climbing, avoid this title.

  4. I can only hope we get more restrictions-free games like Path of Exile so this freemium cancer can be snuffed out. Games should be successful based on their merits, not by how low a publisher is willing to take their game.

  5. At first i saw the title and i said YES FINALLY i will play as drake on my pc as i did on my ps2 with uncharted 1 and 2 then i saw ps3 and was like damit then i saw “freemium” and i was like ok well good luck to them i am not interested at all just like MM or spunk(whoever wrote the article) said freemium is not an easy thing to do i wish them luck but i aint gonna follow them until some company decides to make an actual f2p pc mmorpg from uncharted or lara croft series(i am fine with both personally)

    • Freemium/Pay2Win is actually the easiest F2P model to pull off. It’s the only one that publishers view as viable because they are too scared to try anything else. There is no shortage of stupid people willing to shell out ridiculous amounts of money for any advantage. All a publisher needs for fleecing them is a copy & paste game, a cash shop that sells power, and some way to screw over the free players to ensure their game experience will always be miserable unless they pay.

      • As for the Uncharted F2P game itself, the publisher has already made their money from the retail version. All they’re doing is reviving the game and stapling on purchasable level caps. Unless absolutely nobody downloads this, the net profit will be going in the black very quickly.

        • Thanks for clearing that out for me thing is i dont think most gamers(and correct me if i am wrong) like p2w or freemium that much idk a lot about freemium but ik a lot of people hate p2w games either if its shooters or action mmos or anything anyways thank you for your respond

          • You’re right that most people hate pay2win games. There is so much widespread hatred of F2P games right now because the business models are typically very abusive with no respect for the players. Some P2W games do get popular because they manage to get enough players addicted but make no mistake, for every player that sticks with the game there’s at least 10 others that uninstalled the game out of disgust.

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