As of yesterday, Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade can officially be played for free. The new free version of the game, dubbed the “Free Carnage Edition,” allows players to play four of five classes on each of the game’s factions, rather than the original plan of allowing players to only play on the Ork faction, and progress at one-third of the rate of those that have upgraded to the full version of the game. In order to upgrade, players are required to either purchase 20,000 Rogue Trader Credits, which they can then spend on whatever they want, or purchase either the Squadron Edition or Imperium Edition via the Steam store page. Interestingly, the two-thirds of the experience that you don’t get as a free player is “banked” and will be granted to you immediately upon upgrading.
Behaviour Digital Senior Vice President of Publishing Stephen Mulrooney had the following to say about the announcement.
In addition to the regular free updates and expansions – we believe we can achieve both the goal of reaching a broader audience, and provide options for how you want to play Eternal Crusade.
Behaviour Digital Senior Producer Nathan Richardsson also weighed in.
To be brutally honest, we wanted more people to shoot at and try out the game before investing their time and money, and this is part of that strategy. In our tests on pricing and positioning, people wanted more options, so we adapt and deliver.
While the move to free-to-play has seen a rising concurrent user count over the past 24 hours, interestingly, according to SteamCharts, the current peak concurrent user count for March occurred on March 3rd, shortly after the free-to-play version was detailed. That being said, today’s results are skewed a bit due to server outages.