Konami Goes Freemium For Vita Launch

When the PlayStation Vita launches in Japan, in just 12 days time, Konami’s “AR Combat Digi Q: Friend Tank Battalion” will be free to download. Don’t get too excited though, there is a small catch.

The game is a kind of mini tank battle sim based on the Digi Q infra red tank battle toys and will consist of a total of around 40 levels. The first five will be free with stages 6-30 costing 800 Yen, 31-35 will cost 200 Yen and 36-40 will cost a further 200 Yen.


So it’s a kind of trial and unlock, in stages. This kind of model seems to be taking off and feels like a natural avenue for publishers to explore following the ubiquity and success of DLC add ons.

There’s no word on UK availability or pricing outside of Japan but as a model for distributing a game, we’d expect publishers to at least try something similar in western markets with the Vita.

Source: Andriasang



  1. Looks cool, 5 levels are probably all i’d really need though.
    What would be very cool is if two Vitas could play the same AR game (co-op or vs) but that’s probably stretching the tech a bit.

    • That’d be sweet but yeah, possibly not entirely possible.

      In terms of this business model, though, I like it. You get a shot of early stages of a game and if you like it you pay some money for more, and if you don’t like it, you move on.

      • Two Vitas CAN play the same AR game. There’s a launch AR fighting game where you can go vs against another vita player next to you, fighting on the same AR battlefield.

      • @ Jaffa: Now i’m even more impressed! That’s pretty clever tech, albeit something i probably wouldn’t use that often. Great for some random occasions though.

  2. Sounds a good way to get people to try your product instead of a demo as well which helps lower the costs.

  3. I don’t really like the ‘Freemium’ model for selling games, but I can see it’s merits.
    The day they try to sell me Uncharted like this I snap though.
    Fair warning.

  4. I hate the term Freemium. Trial and Unlock is better but far too pedestrian. I wish they’d use the term Shareware again.

  5. Namco take a look….(looking at you ridge racer)

  6. Ehh, id rather pay for worthwhile content in full thanks, this freemium/shareware (good term teflon) idea seems gimmicky rather than positive, at least in the way that Konami have used it here.

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