I'd meant to make a thread for this game weeks ago, but forgot.
Firefall is a high quality action MMO, developed by Red 5, that is free to play and is being described as "a late 2011 PC online shooter that would blend 'hundreds of player co-op' in an open sandbox world with strong clan support (leaderboards, clan stats) and an optional co-operative-enabled campaign threaded through Firefall's mysteriously alien version of planet Earth. The game's a shooter, meant to be played in first or third-person views."
Video game designer Dave Perry predicted a few years ago that a day would come when a company released a high quality game you'd expect to pay full price for but will play for free. It would change everything.
When the polished free games come out, Perry speculated, it will be hard to pay $60 for a game again.
The last thing I learned about Firefall when I saw it last weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle was that the game would be free: free to download; free to play. That didn't compute. The game looked too slick, too complex, too advanced to be free. There will be microtransactions. Players will be able to buy items for the game, but Mark Kern, CEO for Firefall development studio Red 5 and an ex-Blizzard guy, says that even the purchasable items that may involve gameplay — the ones that aren't just cosmetic — won't imbalance the game.
The implication of all this is hard to believe and send off the too-good-to-be-true alarm bells, the kind of pitch we've seen only rarely with games like Combat Arms or Need For Speed World: A game that looks this good for which we wouldn't have to pay a dime?