During QuakeCon 2017, while attention was shifted onto Bethesda's larger titles including Wolfenstien II: The New Colossus, The Evil Within II, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and Quake Champions, something unexpected happened to one of the company's smaller titles. Brink somehow managed to come back to life as the publisher lowered its price to free without saying a word.
In May 2011, the publisher teamed up with Splash Damage, the minds behind Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and the ever-so-popular free-to-play shooter Dirty Bomb. When Brink launched, it wasn't as well received as the publisher had hoped. Instead the game took a different direction, becoming a cult hit among its few fans and yet, deadly for any multiplayer-focused game, finding itself with an undersized player base.
Now, Bethesda has made the title free-to-play on Steam, with DLC being the only paid option. This has raised questions about a possible sequel in the works.
When IGN had a chance to discuss this strategic move with Pete Hines, vice president of marketing and PR for Bethesda, his answer was quite simple: "Why not?"
The thinking is if they make it free, people will download it, and if they like it, they'll buy the DLC. This tactic has seemed to work quite well as the player base has surged to 1,500-2,000 players over the course of the past week.
The game hit a staggering 2,600 concurrent players according to SteamCharts. While it's certainly not enough to gasp over, it's not bad for a game that has finally turned six years old.
Hines continued, telling IGN that Bethesda is aware that the game had issues when it first launched, that they "updated it and got it to the point where it was fun and stable. I like trying stuff, I like catching people off-guard... it's QuakeCon, we do fun stuff around QuakeCon."
As a regular press member for three years, I can confirm that Bethesda has been known for doing so by throwing out some excellent sales on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace, and even Steam where fans can snag their games at 25-75% off.
If the resurgence of #Brink's player-base says anything, there is a chance that the publisher could possibly be bringing the franchise back to life.
Do you think Bethesda is working on another Brink title?