It was once heralded as a flag bearer for the quality of hardcore PC gaming. But that was at a time when things were very different – the PC market was buoyant, and people were happy to pay for games. So now THQ is to reinvent Company of Heroes as a free-to-play online title.
VentureBeat reports that the US-only initiative will allow anyone to play for free but, much like EA’s Battlefield Heroes, will attempt to lure users into paying actual cash for in-game goods that will accelerate their progress.
The move follows the trial of a free-to-play version of the title in China and South Korea last year.
“In the past, our multiplayer experience was a quick game session that was over as soon as the match was over,” senior producer at developer Relic Entertainment Tim Holman stated.
“With this game, you get an extended experience over time. The purchases you make are about making the game more convenient for players who want to level up faster. It doesn’t give you an unfair advantage in a match.”
Company of Heroes is but one of many triple-A brands to head down the free-to-play route. EA, for instance, already has Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online and will soon be launching Need for Speed: World and FIFA Online.