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Uncharted 3's Free To Play Game Comes At A Price

About $45, if you will.

At the risk of TSA turning into an Uncharted 3 update site, it’s perhaps worth looking into Naughty Dog’s venture into the free to play market and some of the pricing decisions they’ve made before the game launches tomorrow. Pricing? In a free to play game? Who would have thought?

Now, before I appear all snarky and downbeat about the system, let’s bear in mind that for nothing you can play the multiplayer mode of one of the best PlayStation 3 games out there. Yes, it’s capped (and we’ll come back to that) and it’s a little restricted, but – yeah – it’s free.

But here’s the rub: if you want to do anything away from the core game, it’ll cost you. For starters, it’s just competitive – if you want to try co-op you’ll need to pony up $9.99 for Arena and another $11.99 for Adventure. And if you want to raise that level cap beyond level 15, that’s another $4.99 to get to level 25 and a further $19.99 to remove the restriction completely.

That’s not free.

Curiously, anyone who has already bought the game and has the online pass stored on their profile on their console (but doesn’t have the disk) won’t be able to use the online pass to unlock anything – the download (a hefty 5 GB) stands alone.

Of course, on top of that, there’s the DLC to buy. Our advice: if you’re interested, $39.99 will get you the full digital download with the complete multiplayer and all the DLC. We’ve not heard anything about European pricing (expect that tomorrow) but that seems to be the best option.

“We’ve looked at some models for other games, though nothing really played too great an influence on us,” Naughty Dog’s Robert Cogburn said today. “We kind of just broke down the game a la carte. You can get the single-player, or the competitive, or the co-op. Or you can get the ‘Game of the Year’ edition for all of it.”

“The idea behind trying these different options – or business models, arguably – is we’re just trying to see what people might gravitate to. We’re going to be keeping a close eye on this and it will be interesting to see what type of model ends up being the most popular.”

This model is already extremely popular on smartphones – and we’d anticipate a lot more titles fitting into this ‘freeium’ model next generation.

26 Comments
  1. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    So there’s little point in me downloading it tomorrow so U3’s multiplayer can be saved to the HDD as I’m lazy?

    Damn. Oh well, hopefully there’ll be enough poor players online that even I’m able to rack up a few kills now. :P

    Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 21:54.
    • Jakster123x
      Member
      Since: Aug 2011

      I was thinking that too. If that was an option then i’d play it a lot more often and i think there’s other people out there who are the same.

      Ah well, i likely won’t play it again, i only really re-visit Uncharted for its SP set pieces. I just played the helicopter and train scenes from Uncharted 2 yesterday. It’s still incredible. I wish i could play it for the first time, again.

      Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 22:00.
  2. wonkey-willy
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    or simply buy the goty edition from shopto for a score!

    Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 22:27.
  3. cnutard
    Member
    Since: Apr 2011

    So, basically, if you want to do anything outside of the ‘free’ aspect you might as well buy the GOTY edition for not much more and get everything with it!

    Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 22:53.
  4. Sheepdip
    Member
    Since: Feb 2013

    “Curiously, anyone who has already bought the game and has the online pass stored on their profile on their console (but doesn’t have the disk) ”

    I think we call it “traded in”. Why would you expect to be able to trade in yoru game AND continue to play the digital version of the game? The answer is simple, you shouldn’t. If you want to write stories about ripping people off, go look at Xbox double dip subscriptions, rather than beating up one of the best developers out there.

    Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 23:12.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Or, hey, lost their disk? Or it got scratched, or no longer boots, like my Uncharted 2 disk.

      But sure.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 00:43.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      “one of the best PlayStation 3 games out there”
      “Our advice: if you’re interested, $39.99 will get you the full digital download with the complete multiplayer and all the DLC”

      Beating up on one of the best developers out there? More like advising our readership of a potentially less costly, complicated way to enjoy the entirety of a product made by one of the best developers out there.

      And if you want an article written to your agenda, go write it and post it on your website. In fact, drop me link, I’ll come and be an aggressive asshole in the comments, I hear that kind of thing makes a person feel really special.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 02:31.
      • Kronik76
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning! I wouldn’t call the comments particularly agressive.

        Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 13:13.
  5. Avenger
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    Better to buy the game outright new for £13.21 isn’t it. All this ‘free’ seems like a load of weird illogical crap. Either try it out or buy it outright, either way the ‘free’ just seems like an expanded trial.

    Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 23:27.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      I just got it for £7.50 from GAME.

      I originally bought it at launch & later traded it, but fancied playing it again and the price made it a no-brainer.

      It was actually supposed to be £12.50 but they’d mis-priced it with the wrong offer & they stuck with the misprice even though they didn’t have to.

      My previously activated online pass from my launch copy obviously worked with it.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 11:49.
  6. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    It’s finally clear to me now… All free to play games are aimed at those mu – sorry, i mean lovely people – who buy mobile phone games. Phew that’s a relief, I thought they were going to ruin console gaming but now I see this is just something extra to ensnare that lot. Goody, we’ll continue to have proper games and the mugs* will also have their fill.. :)

    *Apologies to all vessels. :~\

    Comment posted on 26/02/2013 at 23:38.
    • yogdog
      Member
      Since: Feb 2010

      Sigh, I play one free to play game (World of Tanks) and I take offense at being called a mug, thanks very much! It is possible to play the entire game and unlock all the tanks on a free basis, but I choose to buy a monthly premium account to speed it up and also buy special tanks here and there. Free to play games are much better on the PC than they are on their console counterparts.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 10:22.
      • TSBonyman
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        Don’t take offence, i was being a bit tongue-in-cheek :)
        I’ll take your word on the pc side of things.
        I enjoyed TomBlitz on and off for a few months, never spent a cent on it but would gladly have paid a reasonable price for a full version.

        Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 12:37.
  7. Peter Chapman
    Team TSA: Editor
    Since: Forever

    This kind of splitting up of content for the digital distribution is really interesting to me. I’d love to be able to just buy the single player bits of games and – if they got the pricing right – not have to pay for the multiplayer stuff I hardly ever touch.

    Not this time though, I’ve already got this :)

    Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 02:33.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      I could save so much money if I only had to pay for the singleplayer part of games, since I never play online anyways.
      I’d still prefer the content to be on a disc, though. They should still release everything on disc, at the minimum price of the single player campaign and then release separate online passes for all the different modes.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 07:16.
    • kjkg
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      If i could buy the single player only on games, I’d do it. I so often avoid the online aspects of games, it’s just not important to me.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 09:53.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      Single player is the area there’s less likely to be ongoing revenue so would inevitably have to cost more, assuming publishers take into account ongoing revenue from multiplayer when setting the price for the game package as a whole.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 11:51.
  8. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    i think i’ll give it a try, the co-op would be of more interest to me though, maybe i’ll buy that part later on.
    i’d have preferred if it was included for free, but that’s just me being cheap. ^_^

    still, if you like the competitive modes, and most other people seem to, then you can play those for free.
    though i can see the level cap being an issue.

    of course, as people have been saying, you can buy the GOTY edition with all the extra content and no level cap for less than it would cost to unlock all the stuff for the free version.

    Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 08:39.
  9. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    dear o dear, stay away from the “free” version I say. I hate the way gaming is going, as excited as I am about the PS4, the publishers are trying their best to fuck it up for a lot of people.

    I know its free, but what is the point in all this when you can get the game cheaper in the stores. It’s on the verge of being conned if you don’t do your home work properly

    Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 08:56.
    • 2ofclubs
      Member
      Since: Sep 2008

      They aren’t purposefully trying to ‘fuck it up’ but at the end of the day gaming is still a business. If they don’t make money then their next game probably won’t get made. This is just another way to get extra money from those gamers that’ll be up for it.

      I’d hazard a guess that less than half of the people that buy Uncharted 3 (free to play or otherwise) will know they can get it for much cheaper in disc form so why shouldn’t Naughty Dog try this? Those that are smart enough and will avoid it are not being harmed and those that aren’t will pay and probably be none the wiser. It’s a buyers choice, no conning in my opinion.

      Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 20:27.
  10. LTG Davey
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    Or you can go to GAME/Amazon and buy the whole package, including one of the best single player campaigns to date, for around £10. Decisions…. :D

    Comment posted on 27/02/2013 at 09:07.

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