Ronimo's side-scrolling 2D MOBA Awesomenauts is making the transition to free-to-play.
The switch will be made on Steam on May 24th, although an update that has overhauled the progression system has already gone live.
Changes include an overhauled tutorial and ‘beginner experience' designed to make it easier for newcomers to jump in. The new progression system, meanwhile, allows players to customise both their individual profile and each of the characters.
There's also the in-game currency called Awesomepoints that is earned by playing matchmade games in either versus or the new co-op mode. These can be used to unlock playable characters, profile portraits, and the new drop pods.
There are also now purchasable customisation options, which can be acquired with either Awesomepoints or cash. Skins will also remain locked behind a paywall, while characters and drop bods can also now be bought.
Existing players will retain everything they've already acquired pre-update. Furthermore, existing players on Steam will be granted ‘Founder' status, and those who own both the Starstorm and Overdrive expansions by the time May 24th rolls around will be upgraded to the new ‘Awesomenauts All Nauts Pack' that grants them all playable characters for free.
At Ronimo, we've been wanting to open up the game for everyone for a long time,” the studio said. It's a great way to make the game more enticing for new players and easier to share for existing players. However, it has taken us a while to get the game ready, because we wanted to make sure we do it right.
The transition to a free-to-play model has been in the works for several years, and the latest update builds on many of the changes that we've already brought to Awesomenauts in the last year. From the introduction of our new triple-A-level matchmaking system, the release of our live spectator mode, to the release of Steam Workshop integration and a level editor… it all lead to this.”