Quake Champions, the latest iteration in the two decades old fast-paced arena shooter series, is adopting the same controversial pricing model Nintendo pioneered for Super Mario: Run.
Speaking to Polygon, creative director Tim Willits revealed that Quake Champions players will get to play the full game with a single champion for free, or pay a onetime fee to unlock all champions.
"At its core, it’s a free-to-play game, with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions," explained Willits. "There are a number of Quake players that just want to play their Quake, right? And they are familiar with the business model of our previous games, and they are totally fine. ‘I want to buy the game. I want to start playing. I want to have access to all the Champions.’ But then we also understand that we want to get as many people into the game as possible, especially outside of North America and Western Europe, where we have a massive fan base. So we want to have the flexibility to have a free-to-play option for those people."
Both free-to-play and paying players will have access to the same maps, weapons and content so they should compete on equal grounds, with the only difference between the two groups being their champions' roster.
While all champions are essentially balanced so none of them is better than the others, there is no doubt that different champions will be more suited for different gamers' playstyles. Other than paying to unlock the entire champions' roster, players will also be able to earn and spend in-game "favor" points to unlock champions for a limited time. According to Willits, favor will be easy to earn and spend so that non-paying players would switch champions regularly. Favor can also be spent on backpacks and rune challenges, so paying customers will be able to use them.