Shifting two paradigms at once, EA and BioWare have announced Warhammer Online: Wrath Of Heroes, a free to play spinoff of the titular Warhammer MMO.

The PC game (which is currently accepting beta applications and is scheduled for release “this autumn”) is “a three-team, 18-player arena combat game,” according to an Edge report.

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes will be released under EA’s Play4Free label, and as the name would suggest, it will be free to play.

“We’re thrilled to expand our audience and deliver BioWare’s first Play4Free title with Wrath of Heroes. PvP combat is without a doubt one of the most compelling experiences online. We’ve distilled down the essentials of that conflict — and delivered it with force,” said BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka.

Normally I’m hesitant when it comes to these sorts of free to play schemes — the majority smack of “we failed in our prior business model, so let’s try this new idea” — but this particular concept seems quite clever. By offering gamers a hint of what Warhammer Online is all about via its excellent PvP combat, the company is able to attract players who might otherwise never consider spending the monthly subscription fee for an MMO, while at the same time not throwing the entire game to the masses in a desperate bid to garner attention.

It’s almost a coy flirtation, if one is willing to ascribe the dynamics of a stereotypical romance to the gaming industry. BioWare is batting its non-existent eyelashes in our direction, so while we can be assured that there is imminent sexy time, nobody can paint a bright red “A” across the company’s chest.

Admittedly, that analogy went in a weird direction at the end, but I think you all see what I’m getting at. Clever move BioWare. You’ll make a fine wife someday.

Source: Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, via Edge

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