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Spec Ops: The Line studio goes free-to-play with Dreadnought Exclusive

June 16, 2014 | By Mike Rose

June 16, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Exclusive, Video

Spec Ops: The Line studio Yager has been rather busy. While its big announcement at E3 was obviously Dead Island 2, the company's other E3 reveal was arguably as interesting, if not more so.

Dreadnought is a free-to-play, futuristic dogfighting game due for release next year, featuring both online co-operative multiplayer and an episodic single-player campaign.

"Dreadnought is a project that is very close to our hearts and one that we've wanted to do for a very long time," Mark Liebold, producer at Yager, tells me. "We love science fiction, we love big space ships and now we finally can bring our vision of being in command of one of those gigantic vessels to life."

Yager has actually tried its hand at this genre before, previously releasing a futuristic flight sim called Yager for Xbox back in 2003. Liebold notes that Dreadnought is not related to that original game, but rather, is a different vision that the team has been harboring.

"We are big, big science fiction fans," he adds. "Whether its books, movies or TV shows. Getting into the chair of someone like Admiral Adama, Captain Picard or Han Solo means you get to be in direct control of the ship and its crew; this is the dream everybody on the team shares."

Yager says that Dreadnought is all about making the player feel like a large and powerful force to be reckoned with -- but how do you make someone feel powerful when every other person playing the game is in the same position?

"With Spec Ops: The Line we had taken the narrative action game genre to a new level, and with Dreadnought we will do the same concerning the current free-to-play business models."
"It is about feeling powerful in general, not more powerful than other players," Liebold notes. "Being the captain of a spaceship that has a crew of hundreds, if not thousands of people, and weapons that can bring whole planets to compliance just by powering them up gives you a a certain feel of having power."

"In terms of gameplay being more powerful than other players doesn't make any sense," he adds. "We want the experience to be balanced so it is fun for everyone all the time, not matter if you play a certain ship class, if you just got in the captain's chair or if you are a veteran."

This is Yager's first free-to-play game, and Liebold is keen to stress that it will not be a "pay-to-win" experience.

"Balance, fun and fairness are extremely important to us," the producer explains. "We plan to do something really new and unique with regards to monetization. With Spec Ops: The Line we had taken the narrative action game genre to a new level, and with Dreadnought we will do the same concerning the current free-to-play business models."

"We choose a games-as-a-service-model as this gives us the possibility to truly expand the universe constantly, to build something big and truly magnificent together with the community," he adds. Pay walls and "power progression" will not allow Yager to build a proper community around the game, he reasons, and as such, such things will not exist.

Dreadnought is due to launch next year.

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