In what's sure to go down as a victory in the campaign to eradicate pointless numbers from the names of things, Play4Free - EA's unnecessarily styled moniker for what everyone else calls free to play - is being renamed. Games like Battlefield Heroes, Need for Speed World, Battlefield Play4Free and *shudder* Command & Conquer: Tibererium Alliances all now live under the label "Origin Free to Play".
Need for Speed World
Battlefield Heroes isn't super serious and it isn't super competitive, but I still have fun bouncing around inside there from time to time, sneaking around cartoon European towns and backstabbing Nazi knock-offs. (Or seeing how high I can jump on its absurd moon map.)
But two of those goofy vehicles in BFH just made the leap into the super serious, super competitive world of EA's racing MMO, Need For Speed World. We've got codes to unlock these high-end racers, along with some starter packs of cash shop coin and beginner cars.
“Free-to-play” used to mean just that, but now it seems that it’s becoming “Remortgage-to-play”. First, DarkOrbit releases a $1,000 item and sells 2,000 of them. Now EA’s Need for Speed World sells a $100 car, according to GameSpot.
The pricey car in question is a Koenigsegg CCX “Elite” Edition. It heads up Need for Speed World’s “Premium Elite” collection, which is targeted exclusively at people with more money than sense. The car is reduced to "just" $75 at the moment, but even for that price you could pick up Race On ($19) and GRID ($15) on Steam - both of which feature the Koenigsegg CCX - and still have $41 left over to buy a cheapo steering wheel.
On the whole the free-to-play model does seem to be working, but these costly items make it look like developers and publishers are taking advantage of an audience willing to pay exorbitant amounts for fairly rudimentary power-ups. A report in the Daily Mail is sure to follow shortly.
A whole city is yours to explore in Need for Speed World, a game that claims to be a freeto- play racing MMO. Though, really, it’s only free up to level ten, and it’s not an MMO. For the first ten levels, it’s an open world arcade racer with a great sense of speed and amazing police chases – but travel past that point and things start to slip.
PC Gamer 218 has already emerged through the letterbox-shaped portals in our subscribers' doors. You can now buy it via the newsagent-shaped portals in your town or city. Do you see the rhythm I'm building here? This month we sent Tom to Valve in a plane-shaped portal, and he came back not just with the first information on Portal 2's brand new co-op, but interviews with Gabe Newell about Valve's follies, future and Left 4 Dead's fairy origins. Oh my.
Need for Speed World, the racing MMO from EA, will be making annoying revving noises at a stop light in time for a July 27 launch. You can pre-order it now to get early access to the game. So spend money now, and once you've already spent that money and you're poor, find out whether you like it or not. Sigh. On the other hand, it's got a not bad pricing model.
We've just mailed all of our registered users a Need For Speed World beta key. Which is good news. We thought we'd open up a new post on the front-page for you to talk about your experiences in-game, and arrange PC Gamer meet-ups. Begin. Speaking. Now.
We've got 5,000 beta keys to give away for EA's new driving MMO: Need for Speed World. All you have to do to get one is become a member of our community - it's free, open to all, and only takes a sec. You can then post on our forums, comment on articles, and if you're one of the first 5,000, you'll get access to the Need for Speed World beta. It runs from June 28 to June 30, so make sure you sign up by Monday. If you're already a member of our community, you will of course get one too - but read on for an important requirement.
Update: The beta has now ended.