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Lawbreakers drops free-to-play pricing, adds new, “mature” art style

Boss Key Productions chief Cliff Bleszinski announced a series of structural and aesthetic changes to the studio’s debut title, Lawbreakers, during its panel at the Games Developers Conference on Thursday. During the presentation, titled “Surrounded by 800lb. Gorillas! Standing Up to the Competition,” Bleszinski said that the first-person shooter — originally designed to be free-to-play — would now launch at a sub-$60 price point and would be available exclusively through Steam.

“As the game continued to take shape, we realized free-to-play wasn’t the right fit for what we’re building,” Bleszinski said. “LawBreakers is a competitive game at heart and that means balance is a big priority to me, my team, and our community. Using a digital premium model helps ensure an even playing field by giving fans access to every available role without any barriers.”

According to Polygon, Bleszinski said aspects of the free-to-play model, such as creating large numbers of characters to monetize, did not reflect the Lawbreakers team’s design philosophy. He also noted that “a lot of core gamers” still distrust free-to-play games “because they think they’ll get ripped off.”

Lawbreakers' new, less colorful logo

Lawbreakers’ new, less colorful logo

Related: We interviewed Bleszinski about Lawbreakers and his vision for free-to-play

Bleszinski also revealed that the game’s art style has received an overhaul since the game was initially announced last year. The new aesthetic has been described as less colorful, and more “mature.” Blezinski said that these changes were implemented to make the game stand out in an increasingly crowded class-based FPS space. According to Steam, the game will launch this summer, likely within a few months of two high-profile MOBA-inspired shooters, Gearbox Software’s Battleborn and Blizzard’s Overwatch.

“Being constantly compared to the current slew of colorful shooters on the market made us realize we needed to stand out from the crowd” Bleszinski said. “We decided to take a step back and explore how we could dial up the maturity in LawBreakers, going back to our original vision. The new look and feel embraces the innovative and vertical nature of our game elevated by violence, intensity and competition.”

Lawbreakers is on track to launch on PC in Summer, 2016: Steam users can now add it to their Steam wishlists. Boss Key Productions teased a possible pre-release beta, announcing it would hold “number of upcoming tests before launch” in a press-release following Bleszinski’s talk.