Electronic Arts' free-to-play Battlefield Heroes
has hit three million registered players -- with more than 50,000 joining every week, according to developer EA DICE.
The third-person shooter is free to download and play, although players buy upgrades and additional items either through earning in-game currency by playing, or by purchasing alternate currency by microtransactions. EA also generates revenue for Battlefield Heroes
"The vast majority of our players play for free, but if they want to customize their character or enhance their game with weapon upgrades or ‘widgets’ then there is a cool item for them in our store," explains the team's general manager, Ben Cousins.
In fact, EA recently changed the pricing scheme for Battlefield Heroes
, making some in-game items less expensive -- but harder to earn through gameplay. Some vocal users have expressed anger
at the change, claiming it's no longer possible to enjoy the level of gameplay to which they'd become accustomed without spending real money.
To celebrate its player base's collective 300 million kills, 150 million five-minute rounds played and aggregate 1,300 years worth of game time, DICE will release a new map, "Sunset Showdown," set on an island where players must battle for control of a hilltop church using a variety of vehicles.