The sequel to downloadable first-person-shooter Blacklight: Tango Down
will be a free-to-play title supported by sales of premium content.
Zombie Studios CEO Mark Long told Big Download
he was inspired to make the change based on the success of the model in international markets and non-traditional domestic settings.
"Free-to-play is the model in Asia," he said. "It's exploding in China growing fast in Europe and emerging here in Facebook and iOS games."
Released as a download last July on the PC and Xbox 360 and in October on the PS3, the original Blacklight: Tango Down
cost $15. The game received generally mediocre reviews from the press, but sold over 100,000 copies in its first three weeks on Xbox Live, according to an August press release.
Tentatively titled simply Blacklight
, the sequel will include all new content, including the ability to control walking mechs, Long said. The new title's publisher and release date are still up in the air.
Turbine Entertainment recently announced revenues for its Lord of the Rings Online MMO had tripled
since the formerly subscription-based title went free-to-play last September.
Other MMOs including Cryptic's Champions Online
, Flying Labs' Pirates of the Burning Sea
and Sony Online Entertainment's Everquest II
also went the free-to-play route in 2010.
In the first-person-shooter genre, EA's Battlefield Heroes
has been one of the highest profile free-to-play titles. A year after its June 2009 release, the title had attracted over 4.8 million registered players that had cumulatively logged over 29 million hours of play time, according to an EA press release.