When id Software released the upcoming Quake Champions into Steam Early Access last year, it was also announced that the game would be making use of a free-to-play model on release, with players being given the option to buy the game if they liked. After a recent announcement made by Bethesda, it seems that the game is now free-to-play even in its early access state.
At QuakeCon earlier this week, title publisher Bethesda announced that Quake Champions is free-to-play now in Steam Early Access mode, whereas previously only players who had bought either the Starter or Champions packs were able to access the game. Unlike with the title’s predecessor, Quake Live, Bethesda also reiterated that the game would offer the free-to-play mode forever.
Id Software creative director Tim Willits said that the market has changed since Quake was released in 1996 and so too must the series. Willits also further stated that the free-to-play model will allow as many players to experience the game as possible.
When it does officially exit early access, Quake Champions will be the first entry in over eight years. The new title features a load of classic characters from the series as well as popular characters from id Software’s other notable titles, such as Doomslayer (from the Doom series) and B.J. Blazkowicz (from the Wolfenstein series).
It will be interesting to see whether Bethesda’s decision to make Quake Champions free-to-play forever results in increased player and sales numbers. Earlier this year, the publisher did make the title free-to-play for a short while. At the time of the announcement, there was a temporary spike in player count, however it soon returned back to normal. The title does face an uphill battle entering a multiplayer market currently dominated by battle royale games, but whether this affects the performance of the final product still remains to be seen.
Quake Champions is currently available in Steam Early Access but a full release is due in 2018 for PC.