Developers of Half-Life mod Faceless said that if they got it through Greenlight they would release it on Steam as free-to-play. The mod’s fans rallied and voted Faceless through the community system, securing it a place in the Steam store. At which point the developers decided they would, instead, sell the game for $10.
Speaking to Indie Statik, project lead Adam Sklar explained that it was Valve who first suggested they dropped the free-to-play model in favour of a commercial release. A model which, Sklar says, he “denied at first.” Then, however, the team “had a development meeting to decide how to make our game better, and in that discussion, we talked about a lot of things which eventually led to us mutually deciding it was best to sell the game.
“Going commercial is the best possible way to ensure we make this game the best it can possibly be and continue to update it after its release to ensure a massive replayability value and new content.”
Sklar’s not forgotten the original promised made during the Greenlight campaign. “Due to my existing promise to make the game free, I decided that we could include a free standalone that would cover everything the mod would have initially included, with the exception of multiplayer and the bonus of the prologue.”
Sklar and the team are looking into “the possibility of somehow adding multiplayer to the free version also, but this is not guaranteed.”
“Faceless is no longer a mod,” Sklar reasoned. “We will not be using any assets from Valve, and it will be total-conversion.” And for that the team need funds. They will be running a donation campaign in February to raise additional development cash.
You can read the rest of the interview, which includes details of how most the original team have moved onto other projects, over at Indie Statik.