Naughty Dog on Uncharted 3 Going Free-to-Play: It “Takes Away a Huge Barrier That Exists for Many Players”

Yesterday saw the release of a free-to-play version of Uncharted 3’s multiplayer on the PSN, allowing you to rank up all the way to level 15. While free-to-play is nothing new to video games, it is a little strange that Naughty Dog would spend their time implementing this, especially when they are hard at work on The Last of Us and, hopefully, Uncharted 4.

To provide some clarity to their decision, the PS Blog caught up with Justin Richmond, Game Director of Uncharted 3, and asked why they went F2P:

One of the biggest issues with multiplayer games, particularly multiplayer games that are part of a larger package (such as in the Uncharted Series) is barrier to entry. The Free-To-Play model takes away a huge barrier that exists for many players. With this model, people can check out the game without having to pay a dime, and in fact play it in perpetuity without ever paying a cent. This just isn’t something we can support in the traditional releases.

We have a thriving player base, with nearly a half a million unique ID’s logging on to play Uncharted 3 every month. This model will hopefully add to that community and show players that never took the chance how active and fun that community is.

After talking about how the digital version of the Game of the Year Edition is the “most bang for your buck” when looking into extending your Uncharted 3 experience, saying that there’s a “few surprises” for players of the game pre-F2P, and saying that the leaderboards are being reset “in the interest of starting fresh with the new player base,” Justin was asked if the free-to-play model is something The Last of Us’ multiplayer may receive at some point:

I can’t really comment on The Last of Us right now, as we are still actively working on it. But I will say that if this endeavor goes well, it is something we will certainly be looking at for future products.

Have you played some free Uncharted 3 multiplayer yet? Let us know in the comments below.