Cliff Bleszinski's upcoming gravity-manipulating first-person arena shooter LawBreakers is no longer going to be a free-to-play title.
Bleszinski announced the change of direction at a GDC panel this afternoon attended by Eurogamer.
Why the new payment structure? As it turns out, many shooter fans find the idea of free-to-play distasteful. Like there's got to be some kind of catch - usually in the form of the dreaded "pay-to-win" model.
"We didn't really want to go down that well of buying energy or a lot of the sleazier techniques that feel like they've taken over a lot of free-to-play," Bleszinski said. "A lot of core gamers still have this wincing reaction when you suggest that something's free-to-play, because they feel like they're going to get ripped off."
Developer Boss Key Productions also discovered that going the free-to-play route was overly influencing the game's design in a way the studio found creatively distracting. "I think it took away from development," said art director Tramell Isaac. "We ended up being focused on how to get money, as opposed to how to make a good game."
Boss Key assured users that LawBreakers won't be a full-priced $60 game, but will exist somewhere between that and free-to-play.
"At the end of the day, there's got to be a halfway point between completely free-to-play and sleazy, and $60, day one, disk-based." Bleszinski said.
The new payment model isn't LawBreaker's only evolution as the developer teased a new art style, as you can see, sort of, in the pictures adorning this article. Bleszinski said the new look would be more "M-rated" in its aesthetic compared to the more T-rated stylings of Overwatch and Battleborn.
"Being constantly compared to the current slew of colourful shooters on the market made us realise we needed to stand out from the crowd" Bleszinski said. "We decided to take a step back and explore how we could dial up the maturity in LawBreakers, going back to our original vision. The new look and feel embraces the innovative and vertical nature of our game elevated by violence, intensity and competition."
Furthermore, Boss Key said LawBreakers will launch exclusively on Steam, so as to save players the hassle of having to sign up for a new account in a proprietary launcher.
When asked about potential platforms down the line, the developer said "Who knows what the future holds?"