Skyrim suited for free-to-play, says ex-Battlefield dev

Former Battlefield Heroes manager says Bethesda RPG's systems translate well to microtransaction business model, is "100 percent confident" such a game will launch in coming years.

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A free-to-play equivalent of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will ship in the next few years, former Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield Play4Free manager Ben Cousins said this week. Speaking at the Free-2-Play Summit in London (via Gamesindustry.biz), Cousins said the game systems of Skyrim would translate well to a free-to-play offering.

Cousins thinks gamers would enjoy a free-to-play Skyrim.
Cousins thinks gamers would enjoy a free-to-play Skyrim.

"I am totally 100 percent confident--I will bet large amounts of money--that we will have, in the next few years, a free-to-play equivalent of Skyrim," Cousins said. "A game like Skyrim, where you accrue skills and equipment over time, that you can play for hundreds of hours, is actually one of the easiest games to develop for a free-to-play model. That would be a big hit."

Cousins--who now heads up mobile game shop Ngmoco in Sweden--elaborated further, saying that almost all new games will sport free-to-play business models in the time ahead.

"In the future I believe free-to-play will be the way that nearly everyone plays games," he said. "It will be nearly every genre, and it will be nearly every platform."

The free-to-play market has proven attractive for a number of studios. Earlier this week, Syndicate developer Starbreeze revealed a new free-to-play project. Additionally, Guerrilla Games made the multiplayer component of Killzone 3 free, and the new Microsoft Flight is also available without an up-front purchase.

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