The battle royale craze pushes ahead, as Scavengers Studio’s battle royale game, Darwin Project, re-launched this week on Xbox One as a free-to-play game. The game originally launched on Xbox One in the Game Preview program as a paid title before this week’s business model switch to entirely free to play. The changes were announced on Xbox Wire.
Those who already paid money are getting compensated, thankfully. The next time you log in you should see Founder’s Pack content in your inventory, including a lot of cosmetic items. This includes two “legendary” sets of items that contain a shirt, pants, armor, helmet, boots, three axes, three bows, and a “full jumpsuit collection.” You also get 10 “fan gifts,” which include other items you can use to customise your look and weapons.
With the switch to free-to-play, the studio also added a in-game store where you can spend currency, Ramen, on cosmetic items. Scavengers Studio stressed that the items it sells are cosmetic only; like Fortnite, the items you can buy do not impact gameplay.
“With our switch to free-to-play, we want to take care to specify that cosmetics in the item shop grant no competitive advantage, and Darwin Project will never become pay-to-win,” the studio explained. “These items are for looking good; only skill helps you win!”
The developer also addressed the business model switch in general, acknowledging that it is a “big change,” while also stressing that it does not impact its longer-term vision for the game.
“Dropping the price tag is a big change, but we remain committed to the same vision that has guided the development for over three years, and that means providing the best experience we can for all Darwin Projectinmates,” the studio said. “We hope that by switching to a free-to-play model, both early adopters and newcomers will be able to get the most out of Darwin Project.”
A third-person, arcade-style shooter, Darwin Project’s spin on the battle royale genre is that there are only 10 players in a match. And one person gets to be the Show Director, who sees the map from above and can help or inhibit players by revealing their location or creating a gravity storm. The game remains in an unfinished state, so you may come across some bugs and other oddities, if that matters to you.
Darwin Project is also on PC for free, but there is no word yet on if it’s coming to PS4 or other systems further down the track. It’s just the latest free-to-play battle royale game on Xbox One, following juggernauts like Fortnite and PUBG. Looking ahead, both Battlefield V and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will have battle royale modes when they release later this year.