Warface producer Peter Holzapfel and the team at Crytek Kiev have their sights on a bold future, one where free-to-play titles that don’t require a dime out of your pocket meet the standards and quality of $60 triple-a games like Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Speaking with VG247, Holzapfel mentioned, “from our perspective, in the future there won’t be any mediocrity in free-to-play because those [mediocre] games will just not be successful. There will be so much variation, but right now you would rather spend $60 on a retail title because the quality is higher, than waste time with a mediocre free-to-play title.”
Holzapfel, producer on Warface, a free-to-play triple-a FPS built on the CryEngine 3, plans to introduce the title to Western audiences with a price tag of $0, where the only form of monetization comes from the purchase of in-game ‘convenience boosters’ and other aesthetic options.
“The ecosystem [in Warface] is still being tested for Western territories,” Holzapfel explained, “so it’s not really set in stone. But the plan that we have for it is that any item you buy in the game can be bought with real currency, or in-game currency.
“That way, if you want to get away from the grind you can get fast access to items by paying real money, but again, every piece of equipment will be available for in-game money as well, so you can actually reach any piece of equipment that you want in-game.
“There are also certain convenience issues on top of that as well, such as experience boosters and set boxed bundles which will give you early access to certain weapons. You can also pay for ‘resurrection points’. In co-op you can either wait for your team-mate to revive you – which enters into the social aspects of working together as a team – but if you want to jump directly back into the game you can use a ‘resurrection point’”
But, couldn’t putting all this effort and amount of resources into a free-to-play title that isn’t guaranteed to make a cent of profit pose a risk for a development studio like Crytek Kiev? Holzapfel seems confident this won’t be the case.
“Since there’s no real barrier to free-to-play – people don’t have to go to the store to buy their game, pay $60 up front – then there’s no risk attached to it, and what we like about it is that it’s very much the full product, there’s no need to try and convince gamers through trailers, marketing or anything else on that side.
“With traditional games you can kind of ‘trick’ players into buying the game. But then after an hour they might say, ‘OK this is actually not that cool’, after having spent $60. But with free-to-play it’s like ‘OK, this product has to be good’ or no one will play. So to us, we’re making a cool game for a bigger audience.”
Currently, Warface is reported to have over five million registered users in Russia, while as of August 2012, over 500,000 people have pre-registered for the the closed beta in the UK and America, according to Eurogamer.
You can check out the latest gameplay footage from Warface below:
Hard to believe it’s a free-to-play title, right? What do you think? Would you play a game like Warface?