Okay, so we know about the new Plus subscription for the PlayStation Network, where paying a fee will entitle you to exclusive content and early access to hot demos.
That's essentially the Premium service for the PSN…but what about the opposite? What about…"Freemium?" Free-to-play is a concept many can get behind, especially PC users who like to mess around with Flash games when bored at work. So, as reported by Kotaku , the PSN will receive its very first "freemium" title from Acquire; the developer will deliver Bakumatsu Revolution into Japanese hands entirely free of charge this week. And although you might immediately think this download would be short and basically devoid of quality stuff, you should know the adventure clocks in at over 10 hours, and it even features a little character customization and 4-player co-op.
Acquire assistant producer Luke Rideout insisted that it "isn't gutted or unplayable in any way." However, it should be noted that we'll see DLC that will extend the experience, and you'll have to ante up for that: items costing between 100 and 200 yen (about $1.10 to $2.20), and quests priced at 300 to 500 yen ($3.30 to $4.40) will appear later. Said Rideout:
"Obviously we won't make a profit on the main game itself. We mostly just hope that we can get the game out to a large base of players, who can enjoy the full main game for free, no strings attached, from beginning to end. Those players who wish to add a little extra to the game, like more side quests or new items can support the game by paying for those."
Well, we know our demos are free (at least for the time being), but we've always paid for our full-game digital downloads on the PSN. This is definitely new territory and if it turns out well, we may see more of it. Of course, we have no idea if Acquire will ever release Bakumatsu Revolution in the US (and if they do, it'll likely have a translated name), but other "Freemium" titles may be headed our way soon.