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After being live for more than half a decade, providing gamers with free-to-play access to all sorts of intense online first-person shooter action, id Software has decided to retire the game's old business model and no longer make it free-to-play. Instead, Quake Live is now available on Steam for $9.99.

It should almost go without saying that the move did not garner a lot of positivity from some members of the gaming community, as reported by Blues News. The announcement had a laundry list of features that id Software implemented into Quake Live following its abandonment of the free-to-play model, including the addition of Steam Workshop support for custom user-made mods, as well as SteamWorks integration and better host and client server support.

The developers also took out some time to fix the coding and other bugs within the game to ensure that it runs clean and pristine.

According to the Steam community thread the developers mention...
By retiring our services and subscription service, all players now have the same benefits and features in-game. All players can participate in map voting processes, have full access to customize their game to the same degree as others, and have the ability to run their own Listen Servers and configure their matches to their own liking.

[…] If you have an active Pro subscription, and you failed to download the game through Steam before this launch, please contact customer support for assistance

The last part is the reason why there's so much push-back on the whole switch from free-to-play to pay-once-to-own. Now usually gamers are against free-to-play when it turns into a microtransaction filled pay-to-win scheme. However, in this case they did enjoy the free-to-play Quake Live model as it was, but maybe id Software wasn't making quite as much as they had wanted from it.

Due to the switch it meant that anyone who paid for the premium features before hand just wasted their money.

The biggest complaints from the community center around the fact that if they were notified beforehand about the game going pay-to-own they wouldn't have purchased premium content when the game was using its free-to-play model. It's a sensible argument because the money they put into the game's previous model could have actually gone toward just paying the $9.99 to own the game. It's a kick-yourself kind of moment for a lot of gamers and fans of Quake Live.

On the upside, it's one of the rare cases where a game decided to rid itself of a free-to-play model with optional premium payments. Usually it's the other way around, where a game starts off premium and then slowly starts including all sorts of pay-to-win features or cash shop microtransactions, similar to what happened with Payday 2 and the game's new Crimefest features.

Despite the complaints, the new version that's on Steam does contain more than 4,500 different fixes to the game's maps, as well as a completely overhauled user interface and all new in-game settings.

You can pick up a digital copy of the game right now for $9.99 from the Steam store.
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