Faceless is no Longer Priceless
In a situation that seems awfully close to a kid at recess backing out of a pinkie swear, the Developers behind "Faceless" a Slenderman inspired Half-Life 2 mod had made the most sacred of pacts with their users that if they made it through Steam's Greenlight process that they'd make their game available absolutely free of charge. Now that the fans have rallied together and got Faceless past its trials the developers seem to have changed their mind on that whole deal and are going to be selling it for $10.
It's pretty easy to laugh in that sort of "You're kidding me, right?" sort of way and assume that the developers are super-duper scumbags, but that might not completely be the case. In an interview with IndieStatik, Project Lead Adam Sklar claimed that Valve gave the advice to drop the free to play model and that they didn't come up with it while spreading salt around on a pentagram in the back of their studio. The team "had a development meeting to decide how to make our game better, and in that discussion, we talked about a lot of things which eventually led to us mutually deciding it was best to sell the game."
I'm not going to make the ridiculous statement that games shouldn't cost money. People just shouldn't say that games won't cost money and then drop their end of the deal once the rest of it has been worked out, even if $10 really isn't that much money to be dropping on a game. Faceless is super ambitious, and it even looks like it might turn out to be actually good. It makes complete sense that the team would want to be compensated for the countless hours of hard work that they've been putting into Faceless, it's just probably not the best way they could have gone about it.
All is not completely lost, though. The team didn't sweep the whole "free to play" thing under the rug forever, they're just kind of pushing it into the garage and making it watch the family dinner through the doggy door. There will be a free to play version of the mod, excluding the multiplayer and prologue modes. Still worth checking out, but you won't be getting the whole experience without dropping some coin.
"Going commercial is the best possible way to ensure we make this game the best it can possibly be and continue to update it after its release to ensure a massive replayability value and new content."
Understandable or Underhanded? What do you think?