Velan Studios has confirmed that it's making its multiplayer dodgeball game Knockout City free-to-play. The change will go into effect as of Season 6, with Velan also moving away from publisher EA in order to self-publish from now on.
What do we know about the Knockout City free-to-play transition?
As of Season 6, which starts this spring, the Knockout City free-to-play transition begins. Up until now, Knockout City has been a premium product for which you have to pay, but you'll be able to play it for free when Season 6 begins. Velan Studios says this will enable the devs to "work even more closely with our community". The studio says it's currently "all-hands-on-deck" working on the free-to-play move, which means that Season 5 won't have as much content as the game would usually bring during a content season. You'll be getting a greatest hits package to celebrate the game's one-year anniversary, including the return of Superpowers, Basketbrawl, and other modes, as well as new customizations and a brand new event.
Knockout City will join games like Swords of Legends Online and PUBG: Battlegrounds in making its free-to-play transition. The decision makes a lot of sense; when PUBG moved to a free-to-play model, the game saw its player count almost double on Steam, so going free-to-play can be a solid way to attract new players and publicize your game. The decision to self-publish is also based around increased creative freedom for Velan; the studio says it has big plans for Knockout City, and that moving to a self-publishing strategy will allow it to "fully realize [its] vision" for Knockout City's long-term future.
When is Knockout City going free-to-play?
Unfortunately, we don't yet know exactly when Knockout City will go free-to-play. Season 5 begins on March 1st, and since Season 4 started back in December last year, that means season cycles last for roughly three months. As such, it's likely we can expect Knockout City Season 6, and thus the free-to-play transition for the game, sometime in early June, which would gel with the studio's declaration that it will be happening sometime in spring.
When Knockout City does go free-to-play, it'll have stiff competition from other F2P multiplayer experiences like Rocket League and Epic Games' Fortnite (although we're unlikely to see Gears of War characters popping up in Knockout City anytime soon). Until then, you can grab the game right now on PC, PlayStation consoles, Xbox platforms, and Nintendo Switch. Here's hoping the free-to-play transition for the game goes smoothly.