Free to play has worked on PC’s, so why not on consoles? Sony is testing the free to play waters on the PS3 by releasing a stand-alone, free-to-play version of Killzone 3’s multiplayer. Players can play for free until they level up the Sergeant rank, after which you’ll have to decide if continued play is worth ponying $15 for.I never picked up Killzone 3 since KZ2 didn’t exactly leave me satisfied (seriously, whoever designed that last level in KZ2 needs to be punched in the neck,) but Sony’s generous offer may just be enough to convince me to give the series another chance. While the free experience is capped, its certainly better than a demo. The stand-alone version of multiplayer features all the maps and modes from the base version of Killzone 3.
The pricing is kind of odd though: it’s not hard to find used copies of Killzone 3 for around $20 (or less, if you shop around,) so if you really want to continue playing after you reach the free limit, it might just be worth it to pick up a physical copy of the game. Sure, it’s old fashioned, but it might just be the better value in this case.
Anyway, pricing issues or not, it’ll be interesting to see if this idea takes off. Activision could certainly make a lot of money by selling a multiplayer-only version of Call of Duty, and if free Killzone proves to be a success, it’ll be interesting to see if the Free-to-play model becomes as widespread on consoles as it is on PC.