Free-to-play Tribes ascends past 1m downloads

Free-to-play Tribes ascends past 1m downloads
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

May 16th 2012 at 8:14PM

Friend referral system brings more than 100k new players in just over a month

Just a month after launch, the free to play shooter Tribes: Ascend has clocked 1.2 million downloads just over a month after its April 12 release.

The online shooter is the latest in the series that made its debut in 1998, and is developed by independent studio Hi-Rez, a Georgia-based team of 53.

With a unique take on free to play that offers customers the ability to earn unlocks with experience, or get them immediately with a purchase, the game is challenging assumptions about the genre.

"Our philosophy is to focus first on making a fun an engaging game," Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris told Gamasutra.

"Second, by making it free you create a large audience to play the game. And third, you implement the store so that it doesn't give any gameplay advantage to a paying player, but it gives a time advantage or a prestige advantage - the latter in the form of cosmetic skins."

Almost a tenth of all users were drawn to the game via the friend referral system, which rewards players for inviting their pals to join them in-game.