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6 years and a Chinese chicken company buyout later, Splash Damage's Brink goes F2P

Update A year after being acquired by a Chinese chicken company, British game studio Splash Damage's multiplayer parkour-em-up Brink has been made free-to-play on Steam by publisher Bethesda.

Update: The original version of this story suggested it was developer Splash Damage's idea to make Brink free on Steam this week, but a representative of the studio later clarified to Gamasutra that it was in fact publisher Bethesda Softworks' decision. The story has been updated to reflect that information.

British game studio Splash Damage's multiplayer parkour-em-up Brink was quietly rendered free-to-play on Steam by publisher Bethesda Softworks.

This is a bit of a surprise given that Splash Damage has gone on to work on a variety of different projects since it released Brink in 2011. Notably, Bethesda appears to be pushing the game out into the community with this pricing change and a brief companion post explaining how players can set up their own dedicated servers.

It's also well in line with what Splash Damage has been up to after the studios' acqusition by Chinese firm Leyou (which until recently was best known as a supplier of poultry meat), namely supporting its own F2P online shooter Dirty Bomb (it took over publishing duties from Nexon earlier this year). 

A Splash Damage representative tells Gamasutra that while Besthesda owns the rights to Brink, lessons learned from working on the project have influenced the studio's ongoing work on Dirty Bomb.

However, unlike Dirty Bomb it appears Brink (yet) lacks any meaningful microtransaction opportunities; the game is simply free, though its three DLC packs are not. It's also still for sale as a $20 game on the Xbox Marketplace, and while its not available digitally on PSN its DLC is still being sold there as well.  

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