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Quake Champions Free-to-Play

One of the things that have a lot of people talking is whether or not Quake Champions will be free-to-play or not. Well, id Software finally rolled out an answer for gamers who were curious about this particular aspect of the game, and they did so at this year's PAX East event.

In a Polygon interview with id Software's creative director Tim Willits, he explained that Quake Champions actually uses both a free-to-play and a buy-to-own business model. Willits states...

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, [...] 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.

The model sounds similar to EVE Online and League of Legends, where players can use the in-game currency, known as favor, to purchase additional play time or spend real money and unlock additional playable characters.

According to Willits, players will start with the default character the Ranger and then, if they want, it's possible to upgrade and purchase the Champions pack to unlock the other characters.

Now the other characters aren't just there for looks. It's been explained in other Quake Champions videos that each of the other Champions have their own special abilities and skills, and this will change the way the game is played in the arena.

For Ranger -- and there's definitely going to be a lot of him running around in the game since he's the only character that will be available in the free-to-play version -- he has an ability called "Dire Orb" that allows him to throw it and teleport around the arena. Much like the old games back in the 1990s, the ability to implode opponents by teleporting on their exact location will also return. This was one of the staple features in old titles like Doom, Hexen and Blood, but was later scaled back as more balanced respawn mechanics began to take shape in the 3D FPS titles coming out during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

For players who are willing to pay for the whole thing, the Champions Pack will come with the other characters, including Visor, Nyx and Scale Bearer. Nyx, for instance, will have the ability to phase through the arena to quickly get around the map. Her temporal placement distortion works similar to Tracer in Overwatch, which could make her a fan-favorite given her speed and the ability to briefly become invulnerable during temporal phase shifts.

Quake Champions is being designed toward the high-end player skill tree, targeting the eSports demographic, so being free-to-play makes sense to lure in as many players as possible even if they can't afford the game. However, the addition of the Champions Pack will allow them to monetize selling characters in the game. I don't know how well that's going to work out, but it seems to be a business model doing Riot and Tencent Games well with League of Legends, so it might fit in fine with Quake Champions, too. Unfortunately, no pricing details were revealed for the other Champions or the Champions Pack.

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