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Mercenary Kings Dev: Putting Your Game Free on PS+ “Doesn’t Really Kill Sales”

April 25, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

Mercenary Kings

Still available for free to PlayStation Plus members in Europe and North America for a little while longer, Mercenary Kings from Tribute Games launched at that  free price, rather than doing so a few months after selling it at full price and getting those early sales.

Speaking with Gamasutra, programmer Jean-Francois Major revealed that the decision to put Mercenary Kings free on PS+ was “particularly tough because I knew the sales we had during Steam Early Access. They were good, but could we expect the same exact bump when we launched officially? Sadly, the answer is no. We did get a boost in sales, but it really didn’t match our initial Early Access launch.”

Ultimately, Tribute Games decided to put Mercenary Kings free on PS+, and it’s a move Major says they’re happy about:

Maybe we could’ve done better on our own, but the PS Plus deal was a safe bet. We’ll gamble a bit more on the next project!

After saying how putting your game free on PS+ “may keep some from buying your game day one,” Major thinks it “doesn’t really kill sales” and simultaneously allows you to reach a bigger audience than you would have by charging full price. However, the downside is that too many people downloaded Mercenary Kings – something Tribute Games wasn’t ready for:

We just weren’t ready to support that. The game could’ve done with a month or two of extra bug fixing. And while the reception has been pretty awesome, there are those Call of Duty players we just can’t convert to 2D games that will trash your game because it’s not ‘next gen’ enough for them.

As for the reception to Mercenary Kings, Major has “seen so many tweets that started with, ‘Really Sony, a 2D game? Is this why I bought a PS4?!’ and ended with, ‘Okay, I’ll admit, Mercenary Kings is actually fun.’”

Do you admit that Mercenary Kings is actually fun? Let everyone know in the comments below.