EA launches Play 4 Free strategy with Battlefield Heroes

New cartoon-style shooter will be available as a free download for PCs this summer as part of EA's new business model.

Developed by DICE, creators of the popular Battlefield franchise, Battlefield Heroes--which looks similar to Valve's Team Fortress 2--is the first game announced for Electronic Arts' new Play 4 Free business model.

Play 4 Free, announced today at the Digital, Life, Design Conference in Munich, is a new Web-based business model that EA plans to generate revenue with using in-game advertising and microtransactions. EA already offers FIFA Online as a free download in Korea, with a built-in system of micropayments that generate income for the company.

Although details on the game are scant so far, EA says that the gameplay in Heroes "caters to players of all skill levels... Gamers can spend hours building up their characters and conquering the world."

EA has also revealed that the game will use a matchmaking system to ensure that players are matched with equally skilled competitors.

Furthermore, DICE said that the game will be aimed at both seasoned Battlefield players and casual gamers alike.

Ben Cousins, a senior producer at DICE, said, "With the new online model, we will continually add new content to keep the game fresh and keep players engaged, while integrating player feedback in real time."

Battlefield Heroes will be available this summer for download from the official Web site.

Written By

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....

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Discussion

109 comments
SteveT1967
SteveT1967

Looks and sounds interesting....best of all its free....yepp, I will try it out!

WB_BlackWolf
WB_BlackWolf

Sounds interesting, I'd check it out but I really don't need to bother, I own a game just like it, what's it called? Oh Right, TEAM FORTRESS 2. Not only will it probably be a better game, Valve Software doesn't treat it's customers like an army of free beta testers for their sub-standard releases.

Littleman29
Littleman29

I saw this a long while ago and I thought It seemed interesting. One thing; this aint' a first person shooter: 3rd person only! Please EA, just no ads all over the tanks and stuff...

lord_withington
lord_withington

TF2 is always going to be better, to me this sounds like a competition? I'll still give it a try though, but if its free im not sure how its going to turn out.

Armadous
Armadous

I also see this as a bid by EA to change their image to something more appealing to the community. In the past their public image hardly mattered, they are freaking EA but in light of the Vinvidi/Activision merger this puts some pressure on EA to provide a better service since it will become increasingly harder from them to muscle themselves into the position of being the only service provider for the good content and IP. Not to mention games like Gunbound and Maplestory prove significantly that free play micropayments do extremely well.

Jokul
Jokul

Hey if its free i'm gonna give it a try

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

'--which looks similar to Valve's Team Fortress 2--' oh give me a damn break. Just play TF2 guys, EA is turning into the walmart of gaming.

Merl57
Merl57

IN GAME ADS ARE AN ABOMINATION. PERIOD!

oldazkikr
oldazkikr

Sounds interesting will give it a try!

MikeySSH
MikeySSH

EA sure love their ads *coughs* NFS:PS *cough*

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

As long as the ads aren't intrusive and in the way. Like when you die, will the add show up full screen? Will the bill boards be all over the arenas? Will character modesl be branded with clothing logos? If it doesn't take away from the game play then fine, otherwise, i'd rather buy it ad free.

Twili
Twili

Micro-transactions and in-game ads suck, but with all the filesharing the makers and the publishers can't make money any other way. I like downloading games for free, but i like games even more, and I'm willing to pay for the actual games if they keep making them.

Legacyoftain
Legacyoftain

Sounds and looks good. I never get into TF2 because I am not a fan of MP only games..so we will see how this turns out if its free

grimdeath
grimdeath

the game is suppose to be ad supported, though it is free you will probably be bombarded with ads. ubisoft let a few of their older games using this model not long ago...really its not bad. i can stand ads (assuming they arent plastered in-game) for a free game

jk80
jk80

my general view is that if I can't sell it on, I don't buy it. In this case, it looks like the game will be free. Fair enough, but if it looks like I'll be paying close to full retail through these micro payments, count me out.

GtheMVP
GtheMVP

You and me both Mooshu92887 !

x2x3x2
x2x3x2

I think this is a great concept, just like F.E.A.R. Combat was. The community will be huge :)

Questlove711
Questlove711

It looks pretty cool, let's hope it doesn't turn out to be complete garbage.

jusmurph
jusmurph

Looks interesting enough

Social_D
Social_D

"this is the whole problem, people accepting this atrocity we call media. we are constantly shown ads everywhere we go, god you turn on the radio and have to deal with 50% ads 50% music and talking. it's horrendous. and what bothers me the most is that people don't actually mind advertisements everywhere we walk. it's really getting out of hand" What is the alternative? Pay more for the service? Get a lower quality product? Everything takes money. There is nothing free out there. It gets paid for one way or the other.

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

Wouldn't hurt to try, I'm just hoping its more like BF1942, If not the same engine... God I miss that game... best effort EA ever put into something i.m.o.

Andrias
Andrias

"it must suk if it's free"? Are you crazy you make exponentially more money by having ads than making people paying to buy the game. plus it looks kind of cool, i think i might stop playing TF2 long enough to try it

meganscheetah
meganscheetah

wow, it must suk if its free, or they're majorly desperate.

onthe_dl
onthe_dl

"chechin I personally don't mind advertisement in a game, after all is pretty much part of our daily lives. During all these years that I've been watching TV or listening to radio, I have learned to block advertisement. If they keep it rational and modest and don't pop' em up in the middle of your game, I'm cool with that! After all is free! As for the microtransactions, I'm also cool with that as long as it doesn't give an edge to those that don't have anything better to spend money on. Let's see if they keep it fair" this is the whole problem, people accepting this atrocity we call media. we are constantly shown ads everywhere we go, god you turn on the radio and have to deal with 50% ads 50% music and talking. it's horrendous. and what bothers me the most is that people don't actually mind advertisements everywhere we walk. it's really getting out of hand

gateybakes245
gateybakes245

Running this whole GameTrax operation was a guy named Josh Larson. But after Broady, Kasavin, and others left GameSpot, Larson took over the editorial aspect of the site as well. So here you had Josh Larson -- the man behind selling sponsorships of editorial -- now placed directly in charge of the editorial itself. You tell me if you see any potential conflict of interest there. > > Around the same time, Steven Colvin, known for having launched such publications as Stuff magazine, took over CNET's entertainment and lifestyle group, of which GameSpot is a part of. I don't know what his editorial influence has been on GameSpot, if any, but his track record didn't exactly point to editorial integrity as one of his prime values. Stuff magazine, for example, used to run game reviews that were written based off of screenshots and fact sheets, before the games were even playable to the press (I knew several freelancers who made lots of easy money from this). So yeah, you had the guy in charge of GameTrax and the guy who launched Stuff overseeing all editorial on GameSpot. And so the stage was set for the events of last November to unfold. Eidos paid a substantial amount of money to have its ads point to the GameSpot review of Kane & Lynch. The Kane & Lynch review wasn't very favorable. Eidos freaked. GameSpot caved. Internet exploded.

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

Sounds exacgtly like a copy of instantaction.com And the Ads? While that may keep it free, the last thing I need is some pop-up about poker, sexy singles or "natural male enhancement" in my face while I'm trying to win a game.

chechin
chechin

I personally don't mind advertisement in a game, after all is pretty much part of our daily lives. During all these years that I've been watching TV or listening to radio, I have learned to block advertisement. If they keep it rational and modest and don't pop' em up in the middle of your game, I'm cool with that! After all is free! As for the microtransactions, I'm also cool with that as long as it doesn't give an edge to those that don't have anything better to spend money on. Let's see if they keep it fair

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

Oh God...dear God...I am laughing...so...hard.... EA? You mean Electronic Arts? Free? LOL....hehehe... You mean...as in no charge...? HAHAHA..... Oh God...can't...stop...there must be a catch...I KNOW there is a catch....heheh... Please...someone call the paramedics...not...joking...HAHAHAHAH..... *cough* *choke*

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

sounds like fun. but it will all depend on the price of the DC.

twiztdmike
twiztdmike

Were alreay getting screwed in terms of DLC that should have been in the game anyway. It hasn't gotten that bad yet but it's only a matter of time. Especially with long time dow jones investors realizing that they're not getting their peice of the video game market pie. The same thing that has happened to books and then movies is going to happen to video games; Which is the big coperations trying to squeeze every cent they can from the video game player, by publishing whatever crap any lunatic comes up with. Video games are doomed.

Rob_101
Rob_101

More Battlefield is a good thing. In game ad's are a bad thing. Free games are a good thing. Micro transactions are a bad thing. :? I just don't know how to take this... Well it will probably be fun and I'll probably be playing it...

Gruug
Gruug

Microtransactions......this will be the end of gaming as we know it if it catches on. This is how it starts....free downloads today...with microtransactions imbeded. Later, you will be paying the full price to get the next gen games AND microtransactions as well. Mark my words, it will happen.

mcuth
mcuth

PERFECT! I am all for in-game advertising paying for my gaming habit (just like it does with TV). The utterly paranoid and irrational objection that some people have to in-game ads is laughable (for starters, it makes most games MORE realistic).

Jac5232
Jac5232

I read that the microtransactions are for stuff like customizing your character in terms of appearence and etc. In short, you can not 'buy' an advantage. Knowing EA though, that's probably gonna change. Still, nice to see them try out a F2P game.

chevydriver1123
chevydriver1123

I usually try not to bash EA but this is just a classic example on how they like to milk franchisees. Im inclined to keep up with the game if it is going to have the same look as TF 2.

FremenSquid
FremenSquid

yeah...it's not gonna be amazing.....but perhaps it has potential

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Sounds like its gonna be warrock ... and that game was terribad .... Im still hoping that 80 man BF3 is gonna rock.

Maxor127
Maxor127

I don't care about ads if the game is going to be free, but microtransactions are retarded. I'd rather pay full price for a game than get nickel and dimed. I agree, I bet they'll probably charge you for better weapons or attachments or upgrades. I hate microtransactions with a passion.

ChaosSpaceTroop
ChaosSpaceTroop

Hmm... I figure it'll probably be something like this: "pay x amount of dollars for better weapons, less recoil! And aircraft!" Well, who am I kidding, I'll try this game anyway.

PacoL250
PacoL250

Similar to all the "free" JRPGs you can download and play (with online components); they haven't been that great either.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

MICRO PAYMENTS DESTROY GAMES .... when will companies figure this out ...