Early last year, Electronic Arts announced a new Web and microtransaction-based model called Play 4 Free, with Battlefield Heroes to inaugurate the program. Despite a few delays in beta testing, EA DICE's third-person shooter is now rolling through its fourth week of release, and today, the publisher revealed it has surpassed 1 million sign-ups.
Although the game has registered a sizable number of players since its June 25 launch, it's unclear how many will buy into the title's microtransaction system, which is the primary revenue stream for this free-to-play shooter. According to EA, the PC-exclusive title generates income through advertisements and the purchase of in-game items and character customizations. As detailed in GameSpot's hands-on preview of Battlefield Heroes, the shooter features an over-the-top aesthetic and centers around multiplayer gameplay.
Battlefield Heroes faces the challenge of standing out not only in a crowded field of shooters, but also a crowded field of Battlefield games. Last week saw the launch of Battlefield 1943 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 following this winter for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. There's also Battlefield 3, which may not be out until considerably later, with EA COO John Pleasants stating the game wouldn't launch before April 2010.