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Old 07-21-2010, 11:52 AM   #1
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Why Alien Swarm is Free...

Hopefully people will read why Alien Swarm is free, and quit with the endless threads asking the same thing, here you go

When many of us played Alien Swarm, we immediately thought "Why is such a good game being released for free?". If Valve had sold this for $5, it would have been more profitable, right?

Nope. Valve really knew what it was doing when it released this game for free. And here are the reasons that they did it.

The Game isn't a Full Game
Currently, it only has one complete campaign that can be beat in an hour or two. Yes, it has plenty of replay value, but not enough to place a price-tag on it. Before Valve spends more resources on the game, they want to see that it is successful.

It Builds Brand Loyalty
Gamers like free stuff. Gamers also like good support. Releasing a game for free makes people love Valve (hell, it works for me). Valve also releases free content and support for past games, which leads to the same effect.

It Encourages Modding (ie free content)
This game is a modder's dream come true. It was created by a team of former modders that Valve hired. This gives current modders a sense of hope that their mods will be appreciated and picked up by Valve, which increases modder output. More modder output means more content for Valve games without any development cost for Valve. You can tell that Valve is counting on modders for Alien Swarm given the release of the SDK and the open nature of the game.

And last, but definitely NOT least:

It Showcases Steam to New Users
This game is designed to be played with your friends. When I first discovered Alien Swarm, my initial reaction was to tell all of my bros how awesome this deal was. Many of those friends had never used Steam before. One friend had given up on Steam a few years back, and told me that this game was "A reason to go back to Steam again". This reaction is precisely what Valve wants. They want gamers to see all the new features that Steam has to offer for free. They want to show how easy it is to install a game using Steam. They hope that Alien Swarm players will browse the store and think "Damn, these are some good deals!". More Steam purchases=More money in Valve coffers.

It's an awesome deal for everyone- Steam users get a free game and more friends to play games with, Modders have more tools to mod with, and Valve has more paying customers.

And that, my friends, is why Alien Swarm has come to us free of charge.

Last edited by BrokenArts: 07-21-2010 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Clarity

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