That would be the modern definition of "free," mind you, the one that means you pay nothing unless you want to equip your avatar with a particularly snazzy hat. Or beret, as it is in the case of EA's newly revealed Battlefield Heroes, a continuation of the popular Battlefield franchise sans gritty atmosphere and retail package. BBC News reveals that the game will be distributed online only and supported through advertising (a la Quake Zero) and micro payments.
Counting on the cheap cost of entry (reminder: nothing) and a new cartoon-like aesthetic to airdrop the masses into Battlefield, developer DICE reckons you'll "be able to play this game on Grandma's laptop." Said Ben Cousins, senior producer at DICE: "We're removing all barriers to entry and we hope there is broader audience for the title."
Cousins noted that adverts will never appear in the game itself ("They wouldn't work inside the fictional world.") and that micro purchases would be limited to players' appearance and not their weaponry. In fact, EA expects 95% of players not to spend any money at all. So, why bother? "If you look at Korea and Asia this is a model that works," said Cousins. "Given the enormous explosion in web-based gaming products, this is going to be a real source of growth in the industry and Battlefield Heroes is the first step towards doing that in [the] West."
Expect it to leave a footprint on your hard drive in Summer 2008.
Read -- BBC News
Read -- NY Times
Read -- Official Battlefield Heroes website