While games such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds might have the biggest foothold in the battle royale market, that hasn’t stopped other developers and publishers from trying to make their mark.
And it’s not hard to see why. The insanely popular genre has proven itself to be a real money maker, with Epic Games raking in over $3o0 million in May thanks to players purchasing skins and battle passes.
One of the new contenders to enter the battle royale arena is Montreal-based Scavengers Studio, with their new free-to-play title Darwin Project. Some of you might remember it from 2017, where it was shown off at Microsoft’s E3 press conference.
Since its reveal last year, Darwin Project launched on both Steam Early Access (on PC) and Xbox Game Preview this past March. For the uninitiated, both of these services allow developers to release their game in an early, often unfinished state. Players will often pay to test out these games, providing critical feedback and information for developers, which can be used to help fine-tune and improve a game for its final release.
Some games might not run as well or are prone to glitches and crashes, but these inconveniences are offset by a lower purchase price or exclusive in-game items exclusive to those who take the plunge early.
After a few months of further development, Darwin Project re-launched earlier this week as a free-to-play title, as detailed on Xbox Wire (via GameSpot). Those who purchased the game while it was a paid product will be given a Founder’s Pack to compensate for the price change.
The pack contains two legendary outfits (each outfit comes with a shirt, pants, boots, armor, and helmet), three legendary bows, three legendary axes, and a full jumpsuit collection. The Founder’s Pack also comes with 10 “fan gifts,” which can be used to further customize and alter weapons and outfits.
While Darwin Project has switched to a free-to-play model, the developers were quick to note that any cosmetic items (which can be redeemed through in-game currency dubbed “Ramen”) will not impact gameplay. Scavenger Studio addressed the price change.
“Dropping the price tag is a big change, but we remain committed to the same vision that has guided the development for over three years, and that means providing the best experience we can for all Darwin Project inmates. We hope that by switching to a free-to-play model, both early adopters and newcomers will be able to get the most out of Darwin Project.”
Unlike Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Darwin Project pits 10 players against each other, as opposed to 100. An additional player gets to take on the role of Show Director, granting them the ability to alter the weather on the battlefield and change the moment-to-moment action.