Concord is skipping free-to-play and pulling a Helldivers 2 instead: $40 for the full game with all 16 heroes at launch

(Image credit: Sony)

Following last week's reveal of Sony's big multiplayer FPS, we now know for sure that Concord is taking a path less traveled in live service gaming. Concord will not be free-to-play, instead charging $40 to get in the door.

That one-time purchase gets you all 16 launch heroes, and pre-ordering comes with beta access in July for you and four friends. There's also a $60 Deluxe Edition that comes with a skin set and three days of early access, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say nobody should pay 50% extra for that. Concord is launching simultaneously on PC and PS5—both the Steam and Epic Game Store pages are live.

Releasing a big-budget, multiplayer-only shooter for an upfront price is almost unheard of outside Call of Duty these days, but it's clear what playbook PlayStation is pulling from. Sony released Helldivers 2 on the same platforms at the same price, and its 12 million sales reinforced something that we all used to know, but the industry forgot in a post-Fortnite world: people will pay for great multiplayer shooters that don't nickel-and-dime them.

We don't yet know if Concord is great, or if it'll immediately be stuffed with irritating microtransactions despite costing $40. We do know that you won't have to pay extra for its full roster like in Apex Legends or Valorant. The standard edition of Concord comes with the "full Concord experience, including all 16 playable Freegunners, 12 unique maps set on various worlds, and six distinct team-based game modes, which will expand shortly after launch with regular, post-launch updates for all players at no additional cost."

The Steam page also clears up what kind of FPS Concord is, exactly. Under the header "Modes for every mood," Firewalk says Concord will have a variety of objective and "respawn-based" modes. There are six at launch, and the idea is to "let you determine the level of challenge you are looking for—whether to unwind with a few matches or team up with friends for a more competitive experience."


(Image credit: Sony)

A common reaction to Concord's reveal was to call it an "Overwatch clone," but hopping between a bunch of different modes depending on my mood sounds a lot more like a modern arena shooter like Call of Duty or Halo. Remember when multiplayer games had lots of modes? Most shooters used to be designed like trees—with a sturdy trunk of mechanics that branch off nicely into any number of modes. Nowadays the biggest FPSes (Siege, Overwatch, Apex) are designed more like funnels—they work exceptionally well in the one format they're created around but get wonky when traditional formats like team deathmatch or capture the flag are mapped onto them.

I'm really hoping Concord is the former. Shooters organized like tasting menus are my bread and butter at the moment: Halo: Infinite, The Finals, Battlefield 2042, and Call of Duty (in a good CoD year). It's not a particularly crowded space, so if Concord plays as well as it looks, it could be bigger than anyone is expecting. 

Firewalk is running a beta in July on both PC and PS5. You have to pre-order to get access, but you won't have to wait long for the whole game if you wait: Concord releases August 23.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.