Yesterday Bethesda’s multiplayer FPS game Brink, which came out back in 2011, was quietly made free for anyone to download off of Steam.
The two-line product release statement from Valve gives no reason behind the move, and it generally left everyone wondering why this had happened.
The consensus seems to be that someone over at Bethesda remembered the IP and and saw it as a way to generate some positive PR ahead of QuakeCon, which starts tomorrow.
While this is a good theory, there’s no official word from the publisher at the moment, and you’d think they’d be pumping out press releases to trumpet the free software.
One clue we have is the most recent update on the store page entitled “Host Your Own Brink Server“. This may indicate that the game will be shifted into the hands of the players.
According to Steam Charts there’s been an influx of players with a 24-hour peak of 1 209. That’s a lot of people when you realise that it was struggling to attract more than ten people a few days beforehand.
Brink developers Splash Damage have long since moved on and now works on the free to play FPS Dirty Bomb. We have to wonder if they had any say in this change.
Edit: A representative from Splash Damage spoke to us about the situation, saying that the studio was not involved in this decision, but they are “are incredibly proud of our work on the 2011 title and many of the project learnings have helped positively influence development on our new hit shooter ‘Dirty Bomb'”.