UPDATE 07/11/2014: The boss of Avalanche Studios has moved to calm concern over micro-transactions in upcoming action sandbox Just Cause 3.
Avalanche founder and creative director Christofer Sundberg tweeted today to say gamers "have nothing to worry about".
Thank you everyone for your patience. Enjoy the silence for a couple of days now. You have nothing to worry about. Promise. :)— Christofer Sundberg 🧨💦⚔️ (@CHSundberg) November 7, 2014
Earlier, he tweeted to say Avalanche had just one free-to-play game - referencing The Hunter.
We currently have ONE F2P game and it's been out since 2009. I hope that helps you guys getting some sleep. Doesn't change my opinion though— Christofer Sundberg 🧨💦⚔️ (@CHSundberg) November 6, 2014
The tweets suggest Just Cause 3 is not a free-to-play game. It remains to be seen whether it does include micro-transactions, however, and, if so, how they work.
ORIGINAL STORY 06/11/2014: Alleged Just Cause 3 screenshots have hit the internet.
The four images, below, originate from Xbox-Underground.com, which claimed they were taken from a debug build of the game on Xbox One.
Sandbox adventure game Just Cause 3 has been in development for some time at developer Avalanche Studios, and will be published by Square Enix, which also published the previous Just Cause games.
The images appear to show series star Rico in third-person, as well as what looks like a birds-eye-view shot of an island.
Of interest is the first image, which shows a menu. It reveals the ability to pay for items, such as vehicles and weapons, with an unnamed currency. The "press Y to buy more" gems option has sparked concern that Just Cause 3 may be free-to-play supported by micro-transactions.
A source close to the project who asked not to be named verified the first image, saying it showed off Just Cause 3's Black Market. This lets players drop items into the game world at will.
There was once a plan to have the PC version of Just Cause 3 free-to-play, with the console versions paid-for titles with optional micro-transactions, but we understand the plan changed and this may no longer be the case.
Both Square Enix and Avalanche declined to comment when contacted by Eurogamer.
The existence of Just Cause 3 comes as no surprise, of course. Back in April Square Enix registered a Just Cause 3 domain.
Indeed its development is something of an open secret. Back in April 2012 Avalanche boss Christofer Sundberg told Eurogamer that Just Cause was "perfect" for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
"There is a very strong emotional attachment to the franchise as it was created by me and my design team here so we would obviously like to see a very bright future for Just Cause," he said.
"In this day and age when everyone is struggling to make money, my opinion is that the JC IP is perfect for everything that next-gen has to offer."
Avalanche, which has a development studio in New York, is also currently working on a Mad Max game for publisher Warner Bros that's due out for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at some point.
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