Electronic Arts has announced a new free to play Battlefield game, called Battlefield Play4Free, which will emulate a similar finance model to Battlefield Heroes but catering to hardcore gamers.
Described as basically a tweaked blend of Battlefield: Bad Company 2
and Battlefield 2, Battlefield Play4Free will feature maps from BF2, as well as weapons, classes and vehicles from BC2.
Battlefield Play4Free will use the same engine as Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield Heroes, though it will do away with the cartoon visuals of the latter. It will be a gritty military FPS with a modern setting - because there aren't enough of those around at the moment.
Battlefield Play4Free will, like Battlefield Heroes, be financed through microtransactions rather than advertising or retail sales. EA will sell player customisation items, as well as in-game advantages in one form or another.
'Five per cent of the audience buy stuff. 95 per cent of people never spend any money at all,' EA's Ben Cousins told Eurogamer
'Five per cent want to customise their character, they want to look cool, they want a slightly cooler weapon, they feel they can get advantage over other players by buying stuff. Those guys fund the experience for everyone else. It's a classic free-to-play business model, which we're really comfortable with and we've got really good at now.'
EA has indicated plans to tie future Battlefield games together, including Battlefield Heroes and Play4Free, to encourage players to get involved with the franchise as a whole. One of the examples cited included unlocking extra in-game items in Play4Free when players reach a certain level in Heroes, or vice versa.
The closed beta for Battlefield Heroes will launch on 30th November, with an open beta planned for early next year. EA is currently accepting beta applications on the official website
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