Dungeon Defenders: First Wave cost $3 when it first came out. This week, the iOS version will cost you ninety-nine cents. But if you want to play the Unreal Engine-powered tower defense game today, you can have it for free -- developer Trendy Entertainment is now leaning on Android's new in-app billing system to pay for the whole thing. We can't give Trendy all the credit, of course, as Glu Mobile's Gun Bros and Tapulous' Tap Tap Revenge 4 are doing the same thing, but to our knowledge both of them were free to play from day one. Free-to-play gaming has been a controversial proposition in the console and PC gaming space -- most publishers would just like to sell a game once, and call it a day. On phone, however, where apps are expected to be cheap, it could indeed make more sense to charge users for items and upgrades than to have users "buy" the game. Either way, we penny-pinchers are pleased as punch with the idea. PR after the break.
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Dungeon Defenders: First Wave goes Free-to-Play on Android, shows off optimizations for iPad 2

Trendy launches a free-to-play version of DD:FW supported by Google's new in-app purchasing, discounts iOS version to $0.99


Gainesville, FL – 29 March 2011 –

Trendy Entertainment will publish a free-to-play version of Dungeon Defenders: First Wave to the Android Marketplace today, now that Google has launched their new in-app purchasing system. This version will allow users to buy pets, armor, equipment, and a host of other in-game items via in-app purchasing.

"Android Market's in-app-billing is a huge way for developers to provide content to gamers and Trendy is thrilled to celebrate this new feature by offering DD:FW for free to Android devices. We hope everybody with a capable device will try it out and tear up some orcs & goblins with us online!" -Jeremy Stieglitz, Development Director, Trendy Entertainment

Dungeon Defenders: First Wave is also available on iOS, where it will go on a week- long sale of $0.99 to celebrate its optimization for the iPad2. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave is one of the only games on the iOS App Store to support full multi-threading on the iPad2's dual-core processors, as you can see in the amazing iPad2 performance video linked below.

"The iOS version of Dungeon Defenders: First Wave is one of the first applications to take full advantage of the iPad 2's dual-core processor and beefy GPU, providing gamers with an eye- watering, HD action-packed online RPG experience! To make the game accessible to everyone, we're discounting it to $0.99 on iOS. Put simply, if you own an iPad 2, you owe it to yourself to play this game and experience what your powerful new device is truly capable of!" -Jeremy Stieglitz, Development Director, Trendy Entertainment

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Android's in-app billing makes a dent: Dungeon Defenders free on Android Market