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Quake Champions Can Be Played For Free

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Another new tidbit emerges for id Software’s latest take of Quake, the series that made established competitive multiplayer FPS on PC. In an interview with creative Tim Willits by Polygon, he revealed that the game will be free-to-play, but with an option to outright buy it.

The free-to-play version will only have one champion for selection: the Ranger (a.k.a the QuakeGuy, the default character model in older Quakes). The Champion Pack will unlock all other champions for a fixed price. Maps will all be shared between free and paid players.

Why do such a thing? id want more players, especially in parts of the world where the Quake name don’t hold as much of a value, to try it out while not alienating folks that may have turned sour from free-to-play games.

“At its core, it’s a free-to-play game with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions,” Willits said.

“There are a number of Quake players that just want to play their Quake, right? And they are familiar with the business model of our previous games, and they are totally fine. ‘I want to buy the game. I want to start playing. I want to have access to all the Champions.’

“But then we also understand that we want to get as many people into the game as possible, especially outside of North America and Western Europe, where we have a massive fan base. So we want to have the flexibility to have a free-to-play option for those people.”

But this does not mean free players are locked out of using other champions. There’s in-game currency, called favour, that can be used to rent champions for a limited time (though Willits insisted that he is avoiding the word “rent”- the system is only using in-game currency, not real money).

There are other ways to unlock new Champions as well. Reliquaries, earned for completing “rune challenges” can provide Champions and skins. To get the challenges, you need to spend favours to buy backpacks that will enable this.

Interesting to see how id is willing to implement the free-to-play system such as it is. The champions, like the first to be revealed Nyx, has specific abilities though it seems to only add a slight edge rather than having it so good that it can influence metagames. If the focus remains on mechanical skill, Quake Champions might still get an audience, both casuals and past pro players alike.