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F2P = Pay To Win? Q&A With Warface Producer, Peter Holzapfel

October 2, 2012

 

League of Legends can do it. Star Wars: The Old Republic has done it. Team Fortress 2 embraced it. Free-to-play gameplay models seem to be the latest fashion in gaming, and few have been as vocal about its benefits as Crytek, developers of the critically-acclaimed Crysis series. As well as already pledging to make the transition from the traditional £40 package to triple-A free-to-play models, Crytek believes that less really is more. In an interview with Videogamer.com, CEO Cevat Yerli says that DLCs and premium services are ‘literally milking customers to death’.

However, try browsing the comments section of any article on Warface – Crytek’s free-to-play offering in league with Trion Worlds – and you’ll likely come across the phrase ‘play-to-win’. I chin-wagged with Peter Holzapfel, producer of Warface, about what your real hard-earned cash will pay for, as opposed to your virtual blood money.

Matt: When seeing F2P titles, one of the first things people think is ‘pay-to-win’. What would real-life money actually pay for, as opposed to in-game currency?

Peter Holzapfel: That’s one of the things we are trying to fight really hard, that in Western territories there’s still the stigma attached to free to play: one being lower quality, and the other being pay to win. Both of these things we take very seriously. Warface is a quality shooter, and we try to stay away from pay-to-win as much as possible. The items that you can purchase will be convenience-based items (not only, though). The best-selling items that we have at the moment are experience boosters, so your progression through the game is faster, and sets of items, where you’d get items you can also obtain through playing the game, but you can get access to them earlier or with a different combination.

We also have resurrection coins for co-operative gameplay. Either you play together as a team, and a medic revives you, or you have to wait until the next checkpoint. You can also get an instant revive with the resurrection coin. Since this is purely skill based, people accept it very well. Apart from that, every item we have in the game you can buy with real money or soft currency.

M: What’s the reaction been like from the people playing the beta at the moment?

PH: Super positive! The game is already live in Russia, and has gone above expectations and predictions, so we are really happy about that. Most people (at least here at Eurogamer) don’t realise that Warface is free and will stay free forever. They play it, they like it, they ask us when they can buy it and then we get to say ‘actually, it’s going to be free!’

M: The beta’s in Russia as you said, I read up a little on the game’s localization and I remember someone saying that Russian gamers are a lot more hardcore…

PH: Potentially true!

M: Fair enough! So what about items that gamers have traditionally paid for, such as DLC or maps?

PH: The idea here is that we set Warface up as a service model, so we launch it and then we continuously keep adding to it whilst also being based on community feedback. That’s something that is important to us as well: getting into a dialogue with the players and seeing what they actually want and what they are missing. Obviously we will do our own game modes and test them with the gamers and get feedback from them, but every update that we do – whether it is settings, game modes, or whether it consists of the bits and pieces on top such as skins and weapons – will always be available for free.

M: Fantastic! We’ve also seen mechs (not today, but in Warface’s trailers). Will there be be any other vehicle types that players will face up against or potentially be controlling?

PH: At the moment, for players, we are not planning on vehicles because our philosophy right now is to provide fast, easy access to the game, so we want to keep the maps more condensed so you can just jump in, have fun and play it (and enjoy it)! What we found is that with these really large maps, it becomes harder for players to play when they join the game’s community late because everybody knows the map really well and it takes a lot of time to actually get into the game. However, it’s something we can consider as an option if players really wanted it in the future.

As far as enemies are concerned, there’s other boss fights like helicopters and heavy machine gunners. There are vehicles, but there is not a strong emphasis on vehicles.

M: Finally, is there any idea of a solid release date for the game?

PH: Currently for Western territories, we are still adjusting balancing and so on. Also, we are going to launch the game via our new social platform, GFACE, so that needs some fine-tuning. However, we are aiming for release by the end of this year.

Original Source: Videogamer.com

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2012 8:00 pm

    Should of asked him about Timesplitters 4… :p

  2. blah permalink
    February 5, 2013 6:31 pm

    It uses the cry engine so the quality is there. But due to the horrific industry that is free to play. This will most likely be pay to win hence not worth playing. There are other Cry games or shooters you can play without the pay to win hassle. Just purchase the game and dodge the free to play pay to win crap.

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