Digitalmindsoft’s Call to Arms landed on Early Access last year. It’s been slowly moving through the process, so slow that gamers are becoming restless with the vapid updates and what they feel is the procrastination of development for the game.
Well, as a way to tide over the masses and lure in a few more potential customers, Digitalmindsoft decided to release a free-to-play version of Call to Arms. They wanted gamers to be able to play-test the real-time strategy military simulator before making the all-important decision to purchase the game or its season pass.
They mention on the Steam page that gamers can unlock new content for the full game through the free-to-play version just by playing the multiplayer games. The full version features the single-player modes, the cooperative multiplayer modes and the ability to customize and utilize more of the game’s core features.
Not everyone is happy about this free-to-play version because they feel as if some of the core features that should have been in the game have been delayed. Commrune seems to summarize why Call to Arms has a mixed rating and why there’s so much unrest, writing…
“I bought the game to support the devs long ago because MoW: AS was great. Call to Arms is still in Early Access, going free-to-play with microtransactions.
“This might’ve been acceptable if the devs were up front with the community beforehand. However, they only posted a (very condescending) “fact check” as a reaction to negative reviews, which makes them look even more like jerks. Greedy and dishonest jerks actually. I can no longer recommend that anyone buy-in to support this developer.”
The newer reviews from users are definitely riddled with resentment over the length of time the game has been in development and the fact that they’ve released a free-to-play version before addressing some other concerns regarding polish and certain presentation and mechanical features of the game.
Digitalmindsoft offered a rebuttal in the form of a “Fact Check” post, which just went up on November 26th. They have a specific section addressing people who feel the free-to-play may be out of turn and that the game hasn’t been updated frequently enough. They state…
“Ironically this complaint comes mostly from people who stopped playing the game altogether, but seem perfectly informed about the status of the game without launching it up at all. Otherwise the 5.5 GB patch we released on Monday would have hardly felt unnoticed. Also, there is nothing wrong about making more money, especially now that people can play the game for free. The money isn’t spent on a trip to Hawaii, but on making this game better and that’s all we want: a better game! That is what indie development is about. If you are angry about shaddy business practices and excessive monetization, let big games corporations know, not passionate indie developers who try to provide the best possible game they can.“
The November 21st, 2016 changelog does feature a lot of new content for version 0.905.0. However, that massive update came after a lot of silence for several months on the update front, where the last update before that was August 6th. So there was a three month gap and quite naturally some Early Access gamers were worried.
You can check out the free-to-play version of Call to Arms right now over on the Steam store. There’s also a variety of other versions available for the game as well.
(Main image courtesy of Soviet Bear)