Uncharted 3 multiplayer now free-to-play

Naughty Dog's 2011 action shooter adds free, level-capped stand-alone multiplayer option with microtransactions; level cap removed for $20.

Naughty Dog today announced that Uncharted 3 multiplayer is now available to play free. Gamers can play competitive multiplayer until level 15 for free, but after that must pay $5 to raise the cap to 25 or $20 to remove the level cap altogether.

In addition, none of the map packs for Uncharted 3 are included with the free version. These must be purchased separately.

A variety of items will be available for purchase, including weapons. Uncharted 3 game designer Justin Richmond explained that in order to avoid a "pay to win" situation, gun mods will be locked away by level. "You won't be able to just buy the best gun and pay to win," he said.

Richmond explained that the reason Naughty Dog sought to make Uncharted 3 free-to-play was to bring as many players into the experience as possible.

"It's not a last-ditch effort to save the game," Richmond said. "It's more about is there an easier way to get people interested in the game to really try it out? And I think free-to-play is the easiest way to do that."

Richmond described this business model switch as an experiment. "Hopefully we get it right the first time around, but if we don't, we've always been willing to work with the community and figure out what the best way to do things is."

If this initiative is successful, Richmond said Naughty Dog would consider making multiplayer for its upcoming games free-to-play, though he made clear nothing has been decided.

"If this is a huge success then obviously it's going to be far more likely that we'll see something similar in the future. If it's a total disaster, then we won't."

"Who knows [laughs]," Richmond said. "I mean, this is all up in the air in the sense of the economics of video games is changing. What's going to happen going forward with digital sales, all that kind of stuff. Basically, the bottom line is if we ever want to do this in the future we have to take this step first. I'm not going to say no and I'm not going to say yes."

"I really don't know. If this is a huge success then obviously it's going to be far more likely that we'll see something similar in the future. If it's a total disaster, then we won't," he added. "I think it is going to be successful and I think it is something that we are going to be interested in in the future. But I just don't know; we'll see what happens as it comes down the road."

Sony is no stranger to free-to-play games, as the company is currently operating PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online, among others. Richmond said Naughty Dog reached out to the PlanetSide development team to understand how the technology worked, but mostly forged its own path.

Gamers thinking that the idea to make Uncharted 3 multiplayer free-to-play came from Sony management are dead wrong, Richmond said.

"It came from us. It came from inside the studio," he said. "From the beginning, our big thing was it's so hard to get people into the game, period. Having to pay money for it makes it even harder. So we've always thought, 'Wouldn't it be awesome if we could get people involved…'"

The developer said the already-busy two-year production cycle for Uncharted 3 made it impossible to get the technology ready to make multiplayer free for launch. But in the year since launch, the idea really took off.

"In the year since we launched we looked at what would it take to get the game sectioned out. How can we release the single-player digitally? How can we release the multiplayer digitally? All those kinds of things. And it took a year to get there. So we released Uncharted 1 and 2 digitally first and now we've done 3, which is a far more complex offering."

Uncharted 3's co-op Arena (with Shade mode) is available as a $10 download, while the game's co-op Adventure (with Fort co-op) can be purchased for $12. A digital version of the Uncharted 3 Game of the Year Edition is also available for $40.

For more on Uncharted 3's new free-to-play multiplayer offering, check out Naughty Dog's official rundown on its website.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

144 comments
nachoneitor
nachoneitor

I dont get the idea, i bought the game second hand, and i was going to pay the online pass (i think it was about $10) wich was kinda allright, but now insted of $10 i have to pay $20 for the complete version of the MP??? I dont want to play, even if it its for free, if im not allowed to have full access to MP and definitely not paying $20.

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

Good idea, get more gamers interested. people like free things to dl and play.

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

Whooo let Ea talk to Naughty Dog???

robbiejones
robbiejones

should be to remove level cap for $5, Removing it for $20 is a rip off, jus buy the full game for $20ish

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

And not two shits were given this day.

DreamsofGreen
DreamsofGreen

"Naughty Dog today announced that Uncharted 3 multiplayer is now available to play free. Gamers can play competitive multiplayer until level 15 for free"

Sorry for those of you excited but i do not consider this free, im not going to play to lvl 15 to just get (cough)blocked by a fee to continue to advance on the game.

LE5LO
LE5LO

To anyone wanting to buy an Uncharted game:

Get the second one, it's better than the 3rd and you'll avoid this B.S, multiplayer is completely free, no B.S code required or level cap nonsense. ;)

LE5LO
LE5LO

Screw Naughty Dog. This is plain wrong.

How about us PS3 owners just put that extra $5 or $20 towards a game that isn't trying to rip us off?

hairyman13
hairyman13

@leviathanwing ok so knowledge is power huh... pity your so called knowledge is not pointed out correctly the aiming fix that allowed choosing between earlier uncharted games an 3s aim system was only FOR SINGLE PLAYER, so next time you want to belittle someone.. read there post first an get your facts straight :)

Ten_Tigers
Ten_Tigers

Fuck you Naughty Dog. You can eat a yard of my shit for $20 or just take a bite of it for $5.

junglist101
junglist101

I used to like you Naughty Dog but now you can lick my balls.  

rigbybot127
rigbybot127

I don't get why people would pay $20 to remove the level cap, when you can buy a standard copy of Uncharted 3 for $20, and get unlimited access to the MP, as well as the extraordinary single-player, which out-classes the MP in every way imaginable.

moncealyo
moncealyo

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

nurnberg
nurnberg

"It's more about is there an easier way to get people interested in the game to really try it out?"

Translation : "We want more money"

Jerell_rast
Jerell_rast moderator

Obviously, this is for people who DON'T have the game. For me, it's a great opportunity to own some newbies.

Earthbound_X
Earthbound_X

Huh, I thought people played Uncharted for it's SP, I've heard zero about the MP.

LittleChatelain
LittleChatelain

I really enjoyed the multiplayer for this game, but my disc wore out (rather quickly, I might add! haha) and I am unable to play it without it freezing up on the load screen :/

moeman636
moeman636

The multiplayer was ruined imo...when they started emulating call of duty. Uncharted 2 multiplayer was great the way it was.

NaSlovenskem
NaSlovenskem

Jezus how can you be this stupid Uncharted 3 MP WAS ALLWAYS FREE NOW MP IS JUST FREE TO PLAY LIKE "LOL". Plss tell me that u get it this time ..... 

aryanbrar
aryanbrar

too the idiots saying uncharted 3 had pay to play multiplayer, no it didn't. you bought the game and you got to play multiplayer for free. this is just a multiplayer demo, with full access for 20 bucks. 

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

What?! I had always assumed that uncharted 3's mp was free to play, wth did this happen?! asnd why wasn't anything said beforehand... so it prompts knowing this, I have to ask the question ' Hey naughty dog, dose that mean that the last of us mp will be pay to play?!'

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Wait...Uncharted's multiplayer was P2P? As in, you bought the game for $60 and then had to pay more for multiplayer?

You have GOT to be kidding.

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

I say why not? It'll just bring more players to the table, which is always good. The more the merrier.

bksonic123
bksonic123

The multiplayer and co-op are so much fun when you're playing split-screen with each other (you can both use your own PSN accounts). That's one of the main reasons I've been hooked since the beta.

Daian
Daian

Just get the full game, the single player is the main focus of the game anyway.

abroche
abroche

ok so it will cost about  30 + dollars to unlock everything you have if you buy the use or unopened game for 35 dollars and have the full game  Really i see this like the Force To Pay Starwars scam

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

It has a good mp component and hopefully more people try it out.  Last time I checked though it had a lot of people playing online when compared to something like Killzone.  Hopefully the ps3 exclusive games get strong mp communities like games like halo, BF, CoD, etc.

ahpuck
ahpuck

I'm an Uncharted fan, I finished all 3 of them a couple of times but, I just couldn't get into the multiplayer part.

legend157
legend157

People need to understand that there is NO drawback for people who own the game already or are planning to buy it new. This is a stand-alone experience. This is Naughty Dog allowing people who want to try the multiplayer out a chance.

robbiejones
robbiejones

@LE5LO  yes thankyou!! i remember having arguments when U3 came out and i was saying that U2 is much better then U3

JOLIVERW
JOLIVERW

@LE5LO I can't see how this is a bad thing...
The game was released with a single use online pass. Like most games these days, meaning that you needed to buy the game new to play multiplayer. Whether that is immoral or not is neither here nor there. (Personally I do think it's wrong). However, the good news, (from the way I understood the artical at least) is that people who bought it second hand will at least get a taste of uncharted 3's multiplayer, for free. This doesn't seem like a rip off, rather more like some free, otherwise unobtainable, multiplayer. (Of course, designed to get you hooked, and then shell out money for the full thing.)

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

@LE5LO  

Save ya cash for new title's that are on the way

wwefanforlife
wwefanforlife

@rigbybot127 or you could pay a bit extra and buy the Game of The Year edition with all the MP content which still works out cheaper then buying all the DLC from the PS Store.

noclue_27
noclue_27

@nurnberg You thought gaming companies make the decision to go F2P to lose money?

Ten_Tigers
Ten_Tigers

@Jerell_rast Except who is stupid enough to pay $20 for multiplayer on a game they already paid for? Who cares if its a used game? If somebody didn't buy it new then there is a reason for that.

LE5LO
LE5LO

@Earthbound_X played a bit of the free (no code required) multiplayer on UC2, pretty fun...for a little while. I can't see any reason why they'd charge for it now with UC3 though. It's just greedy and pisses me off.

shadow580
shadow580

@moeman636 what was changed for the worse if you don't mind me asking? Only played UC3 online a little bit.

Thyasianman
Thyasianman

@aryanbrar You need an activation code to play the multiplayer for Uncharted 3, so he could have bought it used.

96augment
96augment

@Jshaw71 Yes, you can pay 60 dollars and play the game. Pay to play.

Moi_Hahaha
Moi_Hahaha

@Bangerman15 Rikku is awesome.... but don't use the X-2 model, aint nobody got time for X-2 :p

AskanTale
AskanTale

whats up with all these 12 year old comments? thinking they need to pay to play multiplayer that they already bought the game. kids...... new to gaming. they musta came from their cool xbox! cause they gotta pay for multiplayer in every game ahahahha.... xbox kids........ dont understand a thang.

Ten_Tigers
Ten_Tigers

@noclue_27 @nurnberg Stop talking like this is some kind of MMO. They made their money when they sold the original copy. This is just milking people for cash. $20? Bitch please.

Moi_Hahaha
Moi_Hahaha

@LE5LO @Earthbound_X  No, what's greedy is buying used games so you can have two instead of one and the people who made it getting nothing so they have to make schemes like this to get a top up on cheap-o's like you.

moeman636
moeman636

@shadow580 @moeman636 I really enjoyed the health system in UC2. You used to be able to take a fair amount of damage and find cover. It gave you a second chance to get away. But now it seems like you die from a couple bullets. I used to be able to kill people with grenades, now the blast radius is so small and they take so long to go off, they are useless. Everyone runs lightning fast now as opposed to UC2. It has been a while since I played, so they may have changes some of these things.