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Why Bethesda Made Brink Free To Play

Brink Free-to-Play
(Image credit: Bethesda)

If you haven't been keeping up with the news lately, Bethesda recently made Splash Damage's 2011 outing, Brink, free-to-play over on Steam. You don't have to pay a dime for the game. It really came out of nowhere. However, there's a reason as to why the game went free-to-play, and Bethesda recently spoke about how it came to that decision.

Speaking with IGN at this year's GamesCom in Cologne, Germany, VP of marketing at Bethesda, Pete Hines, explained to the outlet that the decision came about because Bethesda effectively said, "Why not?"...

Todd Vaughn our VP of Development and I had talked about it and sort of kicked around this idea, [...] Last year I think we had reduced it to like 99 cents [during a sale], and we were like 'why don't we just make it free? Like, why not?' [...] Just make it free and let people download it, and maybe they'll buy the DLC and maybe they won't, but let's just try it.

That actually... makes a lot of sense. I mean, what exactly would Bethesda lose experimenting like that?

A lot of old games keep some hefty price tags, even when they're as old as dust and aren't selling. Bethesda's philosophy of trying to get some life blood pumping back into the six-year-old title by making it free actually doesn't hurt the brand or bottom line at all. In fact, now a lot of people who didn't think about buying Brink before or had never tried the game before, might be inclined to give it a go now that it's free-to-play.

Also the concept of "Why not?" really does seem fitting here. Brink didn't really come out of the gate strong when it originally released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 so many years ago. In some ways, it was unfairly buried due to the time in which it released. There was just too much competition out back then, and with games like Call of Duty dominating the market in the way that it did, games like Brink just did not stand a chance in standing out.

The game was truly unique back then when it did release and it's still unique to this very day. Unlike other first-person shooters on the market, the multiplayer and single-player were intertwined. So as you played in matches against other players online, you were also attempting to complete objectives and progress through the story mode. It was quite innovative and there haven't been any other games released that tackled the mixing of multiplayer and single-player the way Brink has.

In addition to the synchronous implementation of single and multiplayer into its story mode, Brink was one of the few games out back then to really focus on first-person parkour; borrowing some elements from DICE's Mirror's Edge, players could slide under environmental objects or climb up various structures to gain vantage points against the enemy. A robust weapon customization feature and a paltry but unique character customization feature rounded out Brink, helping set it apart from other titles out during that time.

If you missed out on the game before you can give it a try, for free, right now on Steam.

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.