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EA reveals free to play Battlefield for core gamers

BF Play4Free beta launches next month, "rivals top console titles"

Publisher EA is to make its core Battlefield franchise free to play.

While the publisher has previously released casual title Battlefield Heroes as a microtransaction-funded online title, Battlefield Play4Free is based on the Battlefield 2 and Bad Company retail titles.

It is a 32 player PC shooter featuring the most popular maps from earlier Battlefield games, and is due to enter closed beta next month. A full release following in Spring.

"We broke new ground in 2009 with the launch of Battlefield Heroes; a game that has 6M registered players worldwide," said James Salt, senior producer on Battlefield Play4Free.

"Now we are complementing that arcade shooter with a core, realistic Battlefield shooter experience that fans have been clamouring for. Battlefield Play4Free is for serious shooter fans who are looking for a premium - but free - experience that rivals top console titles."

While the business model has yet to be revealed in full, in-game currency can be spent on equipment upgrades.

Meanwhile, Battlefield 3 is likely due next year at retail, while Vietnam-themed DLC for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 arrives later this Winter.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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