Battle royale game Darwin Project is now free to play

Wintry Early Access battle royale game Darwin Project went free to play yesterday in an effort to boost player numbers and cut down the time it takes to queue for a round. 

“Lately, members of our community have reported longer queue times and difficulty finding matches in lesser populated servers," said creative director Simon Darveau. "To bring in new players and maintain a level of activity that ensures players are able to get the most of out Darwin Project, we’ve decided to make it more accessible by removing the price tag."

Anyone that already stumped up cash for the game—which was $15/£11.39—will have in-game cosmetics added to their inventory on Tuesday as compensation. They'll get two legendary sets, three legendary axes, three legendary bows, a full jumpsuit collection and five fan gifts. 

Davreau assured players that going free to play doesn't mean Darwin Project, which launched in Early Access last month, will ever be pay to win. "We will never sell items that give a competitive advantage."

The game tries to set itself apart by allowing you to track other players, revealing their locations by following footstep trails or finding maps in log cabins scattered throughout its Canadian wilderness map. Each round also has a "show director" that can talk to all 10 participants and mess with them by dropping nuclear bombs or closing off areas of the map. It has spectator tools built into Twitch and Mixer, and viewers can vote on what the show director should do next.

If you've wanted to play but the price tag has put you off, then now is the perfect time to jump in. Download it on Steam.

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.