December 13th, 2013, 22:54 Posted By: wraggster
The relatively small number of AAA launch titles is giving early indie games a chance to capture their own PS4 fanbases
Free-to-play games have walked a difficult line on PC and mobile devices. On the one hand, they’re a positive extension of the demo concept of yore – a chance for players to try out a new title without having to stump up cash for something which may, ultimately, disappoint. On the other, some publishers have come under fire for artificially padding their games with XP grinding, with progression technically possible through play alone, but games tacitly encouraging players to speed their advancement through micro-transactions. ‘Free-to-play’ has become synonymous for many with ‘fee-to-pay’, and while games like Hawken and League of Legends show how to do it right, you only need to flick through the Apple and Android ‘Free’ Games sections for examples of titles that are more money hungry than they first let on.Now, free-to-play has come to PS4, with games like Digital Extremes’ Warframe and Gaijin’s War Thunder (no relation) available to players through the PSN Store. And with comparatively few offerings available to PS4 players at launch, they’re not just the vanguard of the free-to-play model, but also champions of Sony’s much vaunted indie focus. Is the PS4′s audience ready for an avalanche of independent, middle-budget titles? The answer, if the first few weeks’ reception is anything to go by, seems to be that they are.“I hate to sound like a shill,” says Digital Extremes’ Steve Sinclair, “but Warframe definitely [surpassed expectations], especially considering how early we are. Now the pressure is on to really bang out the updates and growth on PS4 and make sure those players feel part of the larger Warframe whole. We don’t want them thinking they’re sitting at the kids table – they deserve more.”
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