Remedy Entertainment’s newest game pivots away from free-to-play

Remedy Entertainment’s newest game pivots away from free-to-play


The game, codenamed Vanguard, will shift from free-to-play to ‘a premium game with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component.’

Image: Remedy Entertainment

Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind that one game that’s having a moment right now, has announced that its upcoming game, codenamed Vanguard, is pivoting from a free-to-play model to a premium one.

Vanguard had been announced in December 2021 along with the news that Chinese publisher Tencent would be brought on to localize and distribute the game in China. It had originally been billed as “a free-to-play, co-operative PvE shooter that combines Remedy’s narrative expertise and action gameplay into an immersive multiplayer experience.”

However, this latest announcement said that such an idea wasn’t working out anymore. “Due to uncertainties in creating a successful game to the rapidly changing free-to-play market and associated risks, the parties have discussed a new direction for the game project, which will be given the new codename, ‘Kestrel,’” the announcement read.

In reality, while free-to-play / live service games still make lots of money, as new ones enter the market, they aren’t being as embraced by the gaming community. Last week, Sony announced it would delay half of its live service offerings. Throughout this year, live service games have been shut down en masse after relatively short windows of operations. And it seems like studios are getting the hint that folks just aren’t as interested in playing those types of games anymore — or at least not in the kinds of massive numbers these games need to be profitable. Disney Dreamlight Valley, available in early access, similarly announced that it, too, is launching as a premium game instead of being free to play as originally planned.

Remedy’s shift to premium could be the bellwether that heralds the end — or at least slowing down — of the free-to-play trend that has the big publishers in a vice grip right now. It was already kind of odd that a developer known for its extremely sharp and atmospheric narrative games like Alan Wake, Max Payne, and Control was getting into the free-to-play business in the first place.

Ash Parrish

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