First free-to-play Vita game 'begins new era'

First free-to-play Vita game 'begins new era'

By Rob Crossley

April 11th 2012 at 5:04PM

Framework established for in-game purchase options

The first free-to-play game for the PlayStation Vita handheld has launched today, Moscow studio Alawar Entertainment has announced.

The game, called Treasures of Montezuma Blitz, is free to download and allows players to purchase items through an in-game store.

Alawar Entertainment said the release begins a new era of freemium games on Sony’s new handheld console.

In recent years Sony has positioned itself as a more freemium-progressive company than its rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.

Several freemium games built by Sony Online Entertainment are available on PlayStation 3 via the PSN network.

So far Sony has embraced the freemium model with its own in-house studios and close partners such as CCP Games – how far it will extend freemium options to third-party developers remains to be seen.

Apple, Facebook and Zynga have all famously made a fortune through the freemium monetisation model – an ecosystem that numerous indie studios now thrive from.