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Tribes: Ascend goes free-to-play

Buy loadouts to augment your character.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Tribes: Ascend will be a free-to-play game, Hi-Rez Studios has announced.

The developer took the decision to grow the potential audience of the science-fiction, multiplayer-only shooter.

"We want as many people as possible to experience it," Hi-Rez boss Todd Harris told Eurogamer.

"Free-to-play is a great way to grow the number of people exposed to Tribes gameplay. It's simply a great way to let a number of people try the game, versus a huge marketing spend or other techniques."

Ascend is, according to Hi-Rez, the multiplayer successor to Tribes 2 and the "re-introduction" of the franchise to the gaming world.

Hi-Rez will make money through the sale of load-outs, which determine your character type: light, medium or heavy, the two weapons you can carry, your explosive type and your character augmenting pack.

Players will buy them either with real world money or currency earned at a slower rate from playing matches. New load-outs will be added regularly to keep the game fresh.

"The game is role-based so the whole idea of having complimentary load-outs and more of a class-based approach is certainly a change and we think an innovation that will make the game a little easier to learn at the low level," Harris continued.

"You can come in with a more targeted role, but also keep things very interesting at the higher level because of its more class-based or load-out-based nature."

Tribes: Ascend is in closed beta, Harris confirmed. Beta activity should begin in July or August, with an autumn launch planned.

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