Heroes of Newerth Goes Free-to-Play
Free-to-play seems to be the trend. This time, S2 games has announced that they are adopting the popular business-model with Herose of Newerth, a DotA-style game. Heroes of Newerth joins the ranks of other popular free-to-play games, League of Legends and Team Fortress 2, the most recent to go free-to-play.
"With the transition to free-to-play we’re opening HoN up to new audiences as our players can now easily introduce the game to their friends," S2 Games CEO Marc DeForest said in a press release. The developer promises "the game mechanics and style of play will remain intact," and detailed how the community will evolve based on today's decision.
There will be three tiers of accounts under the new free-to-play model. All users that have already paid for the game will become "Legacy" users. These premium users will be able to play in "Verified Only" matches, "to ensure that experts and beginners are separated."
Newcomers will be able to access two tiers of accounts. "Basic" is the standard, free account that all new players will receive. Once a player purchases Goblin Coins or reaches a "certain threshold of play time," the account will be upgraded to "Verified," where players will be able to play against Legacy users in the Verified Only matches. Basic players will be locked out of games designed for Verified and Legacy matches. This is a great addition to a game that relies so heavily on team play. Nothing is more annoying than playing for years only to have your game ruined by first-timers who continuously "feed".
So how does S2 games plan on earning money? HoN will monetize the game by charging for characters. Basic and Verified accounts will have access to a rotating selection of 15 free characters, while Legacy accounts will get permanent access to all heroes. Whenever new characters are released, they will be available to purchase. Legacy members, however, will get new characters for free after a short waiting period. Don't plan on buying your way to a Legacy account either. Starting today, Legacy accounts cannot be purchased.