It’s not unusual for a game, mid-development, to switch business models, from premium to free-to-play. It’s a little more odd if it’s the other way around, though. Robotoki decided to do just that with its post-apocalyptic survival game, Human Element.
The studio founded by ex-Call of Duty chap, Robert Bowling, switched models after deciding that F2P would hinder the game, subsequently ditching F2P-loving publisher Nexon, as well.
“As the game evolved we realized that the elements that make Human Element the most fun would be hindered by keeping it a free-to-play experience,” Bowling told Gamasutra.
“Therefore, we made the decision to switch to a premium experience for our players; which also meant that working with the premier publisher in free-to-play was no longer the best partnership fit for the game we were creating.”
The studio ended its agreement with Nexon, and had to lay off some staff in the process. A new publisher has been found, however.
Human Element is set over 30 years after a zombie apocalypse, and as a survivor, players will be able to rebuild society and watch the world react to their decisions. It’s due out late next year.