Quake Champions will be “free-to-play,” kinda.

3 min read
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PAX East revealed a number of details about Quake Champions this past weekend including a free-play zone for journalists and expo-goers to have their chance at trying out the new game. It’s understandable that Quake was a huge hit this past weekend, but what hit harder was the announcement from id Software during an interview with Polygon regarding the game’s business model. To quote, Quake Champions is “at its core, it’s a free-to-play game.” We all know what this means, unfortunately.

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If you don’t know what this means, id Software explained in the interview that a “Champion Pack” will be available for purchase which will include every Champion unlocked, while the free version of the game will have in-game currency allowing you to buy Champions, similar to League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Smite, and others.

“At its core, it’s a free-to-play game, with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions,” said id’ creative director, Tim Willits. “ There are a number of Quake players that just want to play their Quake, right? And they are familiar with the business model of our previous games, and they are totally fine. ‘I want to buy the game. I want to start playing. I want to have access to all the Champions.’”

Quake Champions will differ from other F2P models with who opt for the free version being awarded one character, the Ranger. They’ll have to unlock the rest. There wasn’t any clarification on a weekly rotation, like other successful titles, but all game modes and maps will be unlocked which does take away the advantage of those who purchase the full version. This model has worked for other games, the most successful being League of Legends, but their Champion base is large and their weekly rotations make for a more exciting experience. We all know Quake Champions is pushing for esports, but this model feels as if it may damage that early on with limited Champion pool for the masses who want to try the game out. After all, it’s those masses who will be the deciding factor whether the game will move into the esports environment and receive their support.

Luckily, id Software have yet to lay down any cemented information regarding the free Champions or whether there will be a weekly rotation, but then again there could be an implemented system where unlocking other Champions is easier, with greater rewards of in-game currency, or level requirements for in-game unlocking. This all remains to be seen.

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Last Updated: March 13, 2017

Read  The 100 greatest video game quotes – Part 2

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

  • I will not be picking this guy up. I felt extremely let down by DOOM multiplayer even though the Single player was exceptional.

    • Guild

      Agree 100% Doom SP was awesome but the MP was a stinking pile of shit.

      • Skyblue

        And you missed the point of DOOM completely if you even considered the MP in your opinion of the game.

        • Guild

          Why wouldn’t I consider it in my opinion of the game? Is the MP not part of the package when you buy the game? So can’t you form an opinion of the game as a whole or separately of the SP and MP? Personally Doom is awesome as an SP game but the crappy MP is exactly that, shit.

          • Skyblue

            My point was simply that I haven’t purchased a single DOOM title for the MP experience. In my opinion it’s always worked best as a SP which I can compare to a score of games which had MP which I’ll never bother with either.
            Personally, I purchased the game for the campaign, found the MP lacking as you did but was still happy with my purchase.

          • Guild

            Same 100% never considered the MP as a reason to buy the game. It was a shit tact on that they shouldn’t have done.

    • Skyblue

      Basing Quake multiplayer off a DOOM title is like comparing a Ford Fiesta’s lap time to a Ferrari around Nürburgring. The cars would be better matched around a small city block but you’d still want to be driving the Ferrari. 35yrs of gaming wisdom for you there.

      • I would strongly disagree with you there. Both Doom and Quake came from the same dev at the time and had fairly similar premises (one having hell and the other aliens was basically the only difference). What made them very different at that time was engines and degrees of movement. Doom being the older title did not have a 360 degrees of movement and it used sprites. Quake on the other had 360 degrees and used a vector graphics engine. This at the time was the only impactfull difference.

        Now both titles are made by the same dev using the exact same engine and playing primarily on nostalgia. So let me update your analogy. Replace the Ford with an AMG and the Ferarri with a Mercedes. You get where I am going with this?

        Or a more accurate gaming analogy. It is like comparing CoD:IWF with CoD:MW.

        My 35 years of gaming wisdom for you there.

        tl;dr I disagree please don’t Ddos me.

        Also even if Quake veers greatly from what everyone believes to be a pure nostalgia trip (not a bad thing for SP but MP … not so much) it would then maybe hit territory already covered by another AAA game somewhere.

        • Skyblue

          As close in spirit as the original DOOM and Quake were the latter veered off to MP early on and evolved into the arena shooter it is today. I have always considered DOOM to be a single player experience and still play the original game to this day and did virtual flick flacks when I finally got to play the 2016 version. The only time I play Quake SP is the first title in the series (heavily modified for graphics).

          id Software have been producing fantastic multiplayer games for over 2 decades and the gameplay footage I’ve seen on Quake looks impressive, thus far. I will be trying it before buying though.

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    To free or not to free … that is the question.

    • HairyEwok

      I read that the free part is basically where you earn “favor”, use that favor to get a champion and then you have a limited time you can play with that champion before you have to get it again.

      Tim Willits, Creative Director quote:
      “You do spend favor to have access to them for a limited amount of time, yes. But you don’t spend any real money on it.” Then he later says you can buy favor with real money.

      Basically the guy is confused on what F2P is.

      • Magoo

        No perma unlocks? That’s crappy. But then again the alternative is a selling the game at a full price. So who is really winning here?

        • HairyEwok

          People aren’t informed on the champion rental system, so they read F2P and think it’s either like LoL, HotS, Dota2 or any other F2P game where you can get the heroes after grinding the games currency and perma buying what you want.

          But yeah, the only real winner here is the developer.

          • Magoo

            So you would say that playing the game with limited champs is worse than not playing the game? I feel the opposite.

          • HairyEwok

            I have beef with the fact that the champs aren’t perma unlocked after buying them with favor.

            So you’re forced to either buy the champion pack to get all the champions perma unlocked, or you grind your ass off to earn favor which you use then to unlock a certain champion for a certain amount of time.

            If they went the HotS, LoL route where you can perma unlock champions after grinding the game currency I wouldn’t mind.

          • Magoo

            I also think it would have been better. But maybe this way it will be easier to play more champions more often with a lower favor cost than perma-unlocks would have been. It could go either way but I am hopeful! :S

          • HairyEwok

            I’m also hopeful, if the grind for favor isn’t high i honestly wouldn’t mind the champion rental system.

            Only thing I’m afraid of is if other developers see people allow this system that they’ll go and adapt it into their future release games.

          • Skyblue

            I disagree completely. You get to play for free and get raped before you decide to pay money for it.

  • HairyEwok

    Really Really Really hate the champion rental system.

    • Skyblue

      You don’t have to pay for it then… You’ll still get a FREE Quake experience before you decide to spend money on it…

      • HairyEwok

        Yeah you do not pay for the game, but you have to grind your valuable time to get favor, and that favor is used to “rent” a champion of your choice, not perma unlock it, just rent.

        Also I do believe they said that you start with one champion named ranger or something like that. So your FREE experience will be locked to 1 champion until you grind the favor to get others.

        • Skyblue

          I have purchased every Quake title in one or another guise since the original Quake and have no issue paying for a new one no matter how dumb their F2P model is. I’m more concerned about how they’re going to pull off this “power” nonsense in the game.

          • HairyEwok

            Want to know how they’ll do the power abilities, have a look at DOOM. Bethesda believes they created magic with DOOM MP so they’ll try to replicate that magic in Quake Champions.

            That being said I really hope id software has the freedom to do as they please on the game.

          • Skyblue

            Quake has never felt like a DOOM game and DOOM did not feel like a Quake game. I tried the multiplayer for all of an hour as it was not the reason I purchased the title but rather for that sick SP experience. Having competed at Quake until early into the Quake 3 era (pre Quakelive) DOOM’s multiplayer was far too unbalanced to be taken seriously as a competitive title.

            Also the most important thing for Quake Champions to get right will be the Duel mode as this will probably be the only title to actually offer it to pro players.

          • HairyEwok

            These days every developer under the sun that’s working on a FPS/MOBA game is trying to make the game competitive and balanced. I Agree that back in the day Doom was highly unbalanced and Quake had the right recipe for competitive play, but like i said in today’s light, due to esports every game developer is trying to make competitive a thing for their games.

            What I’m trying to say is that 2016 DOOM cannot be compared with 2004 DOOM.

            Now for the game modes, if they get Duel (like you mentioned), CTF and TDM working perfectly with the power abilities they’ll have a real winner game.

          • Skyblue

            I can only hope. Agreed on 2004 DOOM, it was a survival horror title compared to the rest of the series adrenaline fueled violent nature.

          • HairyEwok

            One can only hope. Unfortunately we aren’t living in the 1990’s anymore and money talks in today’s gaming industry (They want financial results, not exceptional gameplay).
            Honestly i really do hope Quake Champions will be a huge success. I’ve been longing to play a graphically updated Quake 3 arena.

  • Magoo

    Paladins works precisely like this. You start with ~6/30 champions. Buy the founder’s pack and get all current and future champs ($20), or unlock them with currency, which actually doesn’t take that long. I’ve got about 10 hours in and already have 4 new champions unlocked.

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