Aerena Ditches Free-To-Play Model With New Masters' Edition

by Matt Helgeson on Feb 11, 2015 at 04:28 AM

It's common to see game franchises going free-to-play, but Cliffhanger Productions is taking the opposite tack with its acclaimed turn-based strategy game, Aerena.

Aerena is a turn-based combat title that's earned considerable praise - but apparently this acclaim has not translated into sales in the hardcore gamer community.

Cliffhanger Productions Jonathan Riedle said, "We have constantly updated the game with new content and features as well as changes suggested by our very active community, but the single most consistent demand always remained the same:  A majority of the turn-based strategy fans who played Aerena on Steam were put off by the free-to-play business model - no matter how fair we made it. We listened to this and created a one-time purchase package that leaves nothing to be desired for a pretty decent price and re-release it as Aerena."

Aerena: Masters' Edition strips away all of the free-to-play elements and removes the option to pay to speed up progression. It also adds a new community-created arena and Survival mode, which lets you test your skills against the invincible whale Moby Dick.

Instead of getting nickel-and-dimed, you now get everything Aerena has to offer for one price. It will retail for $13.99, but is currently on sale on Steam for $9.79 until February 17. At the time of this writing, it is only available on PC; the Android and iOS version are still free-to-play.


Our Take
It's nice to see Cliffhanger bucking the current trend and listening to the fans. Personally, I'd much rather pay a one-time, upfront fee for a game and not have to worry about microtransactions.