Details about Quake Champions are slowly trickling out after the announcement of the upcoming closed beta after PAX East. One thing that is on everyone's mind is if the game is free to play or if you can pay. The answer is a bit convoluted, but the answer to both is yes.
“At its core, it’s a free-to-play game, with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions," id Creative Director Tim Willits said (via Polygon). "There are a number of Quake players that just want to play their Quake, right? And they are familiar with the business model of our previous games, and they are totally fine. ‘I want to buy the game. I want to start playing. I want to have access to all the Champions.’ But then we also understand that we want to get as many people into the game as possible, especially outside of North America and Western Europe, where we have a massive fan base. So we want to have the flexibility to have a free-to-play option for those people.”
Free-to-play players will get limited access to a Champion called Ranger - conveniently named as that was the name of the character in the original Quake. Players will earn an in-game currency called favor, which they would need to spend to keep playing the character, or get access to other characters. No real money would ever have to be spent. However, players who want full access could get the Champions Pack for the game's full price and have unlimited access to Ranger and all other characters.
Willits said favor will be easy to earn and players should be able to frequently trade Champions, as well a use any excess favor on things like backpacks that will open up "rune challenges." Successfully completing the challenges would give players access to reliquaries, which could reveal new champions and skins.
Whichever way players choose to play, they will still get access to the same maps and modes. The only difference will be Champion access. And once the game gets fully under way, competitive eSports would be the next logical step.
“We do feel it's more approachable and we feel that with our team game modes, and then especially our dual mode, that we can fill a hole that's missing in eSports today," Willits said. “We do have a really nice advantage, because lots and lots of the pro players got their start playing Quake. And yeah, they're playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive now and, Overwatch, but their first love is Quake. So we want to get that critical mass where you have enough players and then we want to ... expand our competitive play, our league play as we move into late this year and next year.”
Closed beta signups have already begun, even though a date has not been announced. id and Bethesda also revealed the backstory and abilities of its first Champion, Nyx, this week.