The multiplayer session-based action game Heroes of Newerth is nowfree to download and play (opens in new tab). The change is designed to attract additional players and expand the HoN community. It also may be a very smart move as free-to-play games based on microtransactions are beginning to topple monthly fee payment systems (opens in new tab).
To facilitate the changes, the game has incorporated a three-tiered player system and, initially, will keep new players and veterans in separate matchmaking, which developer S2 Games hopes to keep games balanced while the new players are learning the game.
Existing accounts will be upgraded to Legacy accounts, which offers them free and unlimited use of any of the game’s heroes. New accounts will begin as Basic accounts, which will have access to a rotating selection of 15 heroes and matchmaking with other Basic level accounts.
By surpassing a certain threshold of play time or by purchasing Goblin Coins, a Basic account can be upgraded to a Verified account, which will allow players to join games with Legacy players, but won’t stop the Legacy players from making fun of them for only playing HoN after it became free.
To make money, S2 Games is hoping that players will be willing to pay for access to heroes. Basic and Standard accounts will be allowed to purchase heroes from the 15 available to them, unlocking a hero will make it available to that player anytime.
Legacy accounts will have unlimited access to any existing heroes, but new heroes will only become available to them after a waiting period. To skip the waiting period, Legacy players can purchase heroes as soon as they’re is released.
Legacy accounts can no longer be purchased, so all new players must use either Basic or Verified accounts, and no matter what they do, they will never be as cool as the Legacy players.
Jul 29, 2011