'Killzone 3' Multiplayer Goes Free-to-Play... With a Level Cap

Killzone 3 Multiplayer Free to Play

Killzone 3 turned a year old this week. When we last heard from the first-person shooter's developer, Guerrilla Games, it was being reported that they were hammering away on the production of Killzone 4, although details of the project have yet to surface.

That doesn't mean the old dog has run out of tricks just yet, however. Killzone 3 may soon be finding a second life at the forefront of a new unique marketing approach by Sony and the PlayStation Network.

Starting on Tuesday, February 28, the Official PlayStation Blogcast reports that PSN users will be able to download the "full" multiplayer component of Killzone 3 (including access to DLC maps) without even dropping a dime - at first. In the same vein of MMO's like World of Warcraft, free-to-play users will be tossed right in with current owners of the game - but will then be met with a level cap at "Sergeant," (the 10th of 45 levels). From there, it's $14.99 to continue on for the long haul.

While the move is quite interesting, it's almost certainly an experiment for future free-to-play strategies being mulled by Sony - of which much remains nebulous.

Is Sony planning to open the door for all older titles after they've squeezed out every last penny from pay-to-play adopters? Or, does Killzone 3's age simply make a safer testing ground for what we might someday see featured in brand new titles? With the controversial online pass taking heat for restricting consumer choice, affording gamers a buffet style, pick-and-choose-option would be a step in the right direction from where some publishers have gone (and the free samples are always a plus).

Killzone 3 Free to Play

The idea is also a boon for Killzone 3 itself, which, to Sony's balance sheet, is the video game equivalent of a two or three-year old movie that's just about ready to make its final resting place on basic cable outlets.

Adding a surge of new recruits to the game's multiplayer - assuming a few stick around - will liven up the experience for the crusty veterans already in action. The only potential pitfall is something we outlined in our Killzone 3 review: multiplayer was a solid experience overall, but was notably unbalanced in favor of higher-ranking players. Throwing new trainees straight into the fire might create the wrong first impression on those who dislike being a bullet sponge.

Ranters, are you interesting in getting in on Killzone 3 now that part of the game will go free-to-play? Would similar models for future games be an improvement on the current pricing landscape, or are better solutions out there to be found?


Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple

Source: PlayStation Blog

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