This weekend's QuakeCon had a big focus on Bethesda's bigger franchises as of late, including Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, The Evil Within II, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider and Quake Champions. But that doesn't mean the company has forgotten about its smaller titles – in this case, Brink.
Yep, years ago, the publisher teamed up with Splash Damage to create a different kind of competitive shooter. But it didn't quite take off as expected, making the game a cult hit instead of a best seller.
But leave it to a company like Bethesda to recognize a title that has potential for a different market – free-to-play. Apparently, a news post over on Steam noted that the game has gone free, with only the DLC being charged. This is down from its previous offering price of a dollar.
As for why the game's price dropped to nothing, Pete Hines, vice president of marketing and PR for Bethesda, told IGN, "Why not?
"Todd Vaughn, our VP of development, and I had talked about it and sort of kicking around this idea. Last year, I think we had reduced it to like 99 cents (during a sale), and we were like, 'Why don't we just make it free? Like, why not?'
"Just make it free and let people download it, and maybe they'll buy the DLC and maybe they won't, but let's just try it." Hines continued by saying "The game has been out for forever, how much money are we really making off a 99 cents [sale]?"
So the decision came about to "just put it out free and see if people like it and people play it."
That said, once the change was made to the game, it's gotten a bit more successful, with 2,600 concurrent players at one point. While that's hardly Battlegrounds-based numbers, it's not bad for a six year old game.
Although the game wasn't well received at first, Hines noted there's potential. "It had its issues back when it first launched," he noted. "but I think we updated it and got it to the point where it was fun and stable."
And Hines noted the surprise from the decision. "I like trying stuff, I like catching people off-guard…it's QuakeCon, we do fun stuff around QuakeCon."
You can check out Brink now on PC, as well as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.