Blacklight: Retribution Avoids Pay-to-Win Trap by Focusing on Variety

The online shooter offers players lots of content and the ability to try it out

Blacklight: Retribution, the free-to-play first-person shooter from Zombie Studios, avoids falling into the pay-to-win trap encountered by free games, as it not only offers a variety of weapons and things to buy but also lets regular players earn the virtual currency, GP, in order to try out items available for purchase.

Blacklight: Retribution is one of the most popular free-to-play first-person shooters on the PC, staying for over a year in the top 50 most played titles seen on the Steam digital distribution platforms.

The game will receive its next content update later today, in the form of the Onslaught one, which adds two new game modes, including a cooperative one, two new maps, new weapons, and other such items.

Ahead of the update's release, Blacklight Senior Producer Mark Hill has talked with Softpedia about free-to-play titles and how those who fall into the pay-to-win trap don't have a long life.

"If Blacklight were pay-to-win, the game wouldn’t have succeeded or fit in with Perfect World’s and Zombie Studios’ goals and philosophy," he told Softpedia in an exclusive interview.

"We wanted to launch a high-quality, competitive, and free-to-play FPS, which just wouldn’t have been possible had we made it 'pay-to-win.'"

Blacklight: Retribution manages to avoid falling into the pay-to-win trap by balancing weapons that can be purchased and by offering a variety of items.

"First, comes balance and choice. Players have over 12 million options when it comes to configuring their weapons with various scopes, barrels, stocks, etc. But there is no one 'auto win' weapon or combination."

"You might, for example, build a rifle with incredibly high damage, for example, but in doing so, the player will probably find themselves with lower stats in other areas, like accuracy or reload speed for example."

What's more, Blacklight's GP currency can be earned by players during the game so they can at least try out the weapons before buying them with actual cash.

"Next, comes Blacklight’s GP system, which allows players to earn currency by playing the game. Just about every item that players can buy with real money can be temporarily unlocked with GP just by playing the game.

"It’s also worth noting that with Blacklight, players can quickly earn enough GP to start trying out and experimenting with tons of new weapons, weapon parts, and gear without having to grind, thus also avoiding the 'wait-or-pay' method."

Zombie Studios is also relying on free content updates, like the upcoming Onslaught, to keep players coming back to the free title.

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