Natural Selection 2 giving 45,000 free copies to pre-orderers

Multiplayer-only games live or die on their ability to draw a lasting playerbase, but this can be tricky when you've only got the resources of a small indie studio at hand. Unknown Worlds is tackling this head-on before it can even become an issue for Natural Selection 2, handing out an extra 45,000 free copies of the FPS-RTS to early pre-orders to jump-start the multiplayer community.

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Multiplayer-only games live or die on their ability to draw a lasting playerbase, but this can be tricky when you've only got the resources of a small indie studio at hand. Unknown Worlds is tackling this head-on before it can even become an issue for Natural Selection 2, handing out an extra 45,000 free copies of its FPS-RTS to pre-orderers to jump-start the multiplayer community.

The announcement came after pre-orders launched on Steam on Tuesday, and Unknown Worlds shut down its own pre-order program. Everyone who pre-ordered before this will get an upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition (with soundtrack; art book; wallpapers; and more exclusive marine armour), beta access all the way up to launch, and a spare copy to give to a friend.

The free copies haven't been given out yet, but are coming.

If you want to buy NS2 now, you'll need to pre-order from Steam. $25 gets you the Digital Deluxe Edition, which will cost $40 after launch, or you can pick up four copies for $75. You won't, however, get beta access or a free spare copy.

Free copies are certainly a sensible move, and the timing is right. InterWave Studios gave out extra copies to people who bought its own indie multiplayer FPS-RTS Nuclear Dawn in June to revive the playerbase, but sadly that doesn't seem to have been very effective. Having a potential 45,000 extra players right out the gate should hopefully serve NS2 better.

Natural Selection 2 is due to finally launch for PC in October, with Mac and Linux editions planned. If you missed it, here's a shiny recent trailer revealing NS2's stompy exosuit for the marine side:

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    September 6, 2012 7:30 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Natural Selection 2 giving 45,000 free copies to pre-orderers.

    Multiplayer-only games live or die on their ability to draw a lasting playerbase, but this can be tricky when you've only got the resources of a small indie studio at hand. Unknown Worlds is tackling this head-on before it can even become an issue for Natural Selection 2, handing out an extra 45,000 free copies of the FPS-RTS to early pre-orders to jump-start the multiplayer community.

    • reply
      September 6, 2012 7:42 AM

      I will bravely volunteer to take one of the free copies.

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 7:45 AM

        nice

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 7:55 AM

        I will join you!

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 7:58 AM

        i am also willing to take one for the team in this manner.

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 8:02 AM

        Godspeed!

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 8:04 AM

        *Bravely jumps in front of the free game being thrown at RPE*

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 8:06 AM

        rpe you're so hot.

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 8:39 AM

        Ditto

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 9:43 AM

        me too. i have sorely missed sci-fi MP shooters. all these modern era games are fine, but i like me some fancy pants ray guns and shit!

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 10:07 AM

        I'll jump on this train!

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 11:02 AM

        and meeee!

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 11:42 AM

        As shall I

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 11:46 AM

        I don't think they're available to give out yet. I don't see my free copy on Steam.

        • reply
          September 7, 2012 10:11 AM

          Thanks for the write-up, Alice!

          We haven't given out these copies yet - we will do so via Steam once we can get that together. Look for it soon.

    • reply
      September 6, 2012 7:45 AM

      so the people who paid $20-$30 3 years ago get a 'free' copy, or do they get a free copy to pass along to someone else..

    • reply
      September 6, 2012 8:24 AM

      I had no clue they were making Natural Selection 2... used to play the first mod back in the day.. might have to look into it now.

    • reply
      September 6, 2012 9:14 AM

      This game is amazing. I've been playing since the early betas and it's improved in so many ways. For a team of 6 or so they have not just created this game but also it's own engine which can compete with some of the game engines out there. I've got a free copy but I'll give it to a friend...

      • reply
        September 6, 2012 11:29 AM

        Is the engine still super shitty and laggy? Every time I've tried it it has controlled and felt awful =(

        • Zek
          reply
          September 6, 2012 11:49 AM

          I think it pretty much plays great now. Translating that to the JohnnyRey review scale though, it's probably still worse than Hitler.

          • reply
            September 6, 2012 12:08 PM

            lol! I will give it another try then.

          • reply
            September 7, 2012 12:44 PM

            From the Steam Store Page:
            Minimum:

            OS:Windows 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
            Processor:Core 2 Duo 2.6 ghz
            Memory:2 GB RAM
            Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1GB, ATI X800, NVidia 8600 or better
            DirectX®:9.0
            Hard Drive:5 GB HD space

            Recommended:

            OS:Windows 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
            Processor:Core 2 Duo 3.0 ghz
            Memory:4 GB RAM
            Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1GB, AMD 5770, NVidia GTX 450 or better
            DirectX®:9.0
            Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
            Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection

            You need a beefy machine in order to get a playable game experience. Mid-tier gaming rigs are going to have a very hard time maintaining 30fps.

            Personal note, when UWE announced they were making the engine test/alpha version available, I bought a new machine (affordable mid-tier) based on their projected specs. Ever since Build 160 or so my machine was not sufficient to run the beta. I stuck with it, I desperately clung onto the hope that they'd make that One Optimization that would magically make the game run smoothly. But alas, for the duration of 2010 I was constantly in the ~5-10fps range. I love the game so I endured it, but it was misery. I had to stop playing in early 2011.

            A few days ago I fired up the game to see how nearly 2 years of optimization has helped. My GPU overheated after 13 minutes, hard-locking the game, and I had to reset. Needless to say, my machine is 3 years old now. It's underpowered so it's time to upgrade.

            So JohnnyRey, I suspect you will not find it sufficiently improved. Based on the Steam Hardware Survey August 2012, only about 30% of Steam users have a 3.0GHz or above CPU.

    • reply
      September 6, 2012 3:01 PM

      Anyone wanna go halfsies on a copy? $13 each or so.

      • Zek
        reply
        September 6, 2012 3:01 PM

        Only pre-Steam preorders get an extra copy, not regular ones. There is a $75 four pack though.

        • reply
          September 6, 2012 3:02 PM

          Dang - anyone wanna sell me a pre-order freebie for $13 :)

    • reply
      September 6, 2012 7:08 PM

      smart move. Cant grow a community if no one is buying the game outside of the hardcores. They'll make this back 10-fold if the game lives up to the promise.

    • reply
      September 7, 2012 9:19 AM

      Mac and Linux at launch? I don't think so, TFA.