Splash Damage turns to free-to-play

Splash Damage turns to free-to-play

Splash Damage, the UK developer of multiplayer shooter Brink, has announced the formation of a new publishing company, Warchest, dedicated to free-to-play multiplayer games.

It means Splash Damage co-founders Richard Jolly and Paul Wedgwood now operate a trio of companies which cover development, publishing and, in Fireteam, online services, so the studio is now truly independent, able to operate in the free-to-play space, on console, PC and mobile, without external support. Splash Damage will, however, continue to develop for other publishers on a work-for-hire basis. Jolly is Warchest's CCO, with Wedgwood its CEO.

"Gamers are well-served by high-end console games, but sometimes over-charged by mid-tier titles, or under-served by low-quality free-to-play games that unfairly exploit the player," Jolly said. "We believe gamers deserve better, and that's why Warchest is exclusively focused on publishing games that are triple-A and free."

It's an interesting move for the firm, but makes sense; the revenue potential of free-to-play games is huge, and by doing it this way all revenue from microtransactions stays in-house. There'll be no need to work with the likes of Bethesda, which published Brink and recently hit headlines for withholding a bonus payment from Obsidian because Fallout: New Vegas missed its Metacritic target by a single point.

As well as targeting its games at the core gamer, a major focus for Warchest will be cross-platform play, with Wedgwood saying players "should be free to switch devices at will without leaving their favourite game universe and friends behind.

"Our goal is connectedness – you might battle your friends via your smartphone or tablet in a turn-based tactics game during your commute, connect with them on your PC once you're home, sneak into their base in their absence while playing on your console, then share cool technology with them from your desktop browser at work."

While Splash Damage is working on multiplayer titles for PC and consoles, the first Warchest game to be announced is for iOS. Rad Soldiers, a turn-based, asynchronous multiplayer strategy game referred to internally as Guns With Friends, will be released in June. For more on Rad Soldiers, click here.