In the past, Sony has experimented with free to play by making Killzone 3's multiplayer free to play to a certain point. The experiment must have worked pretty well because Sony is now offering the multiplayer component from Uncharted 3 for free.
Naughty Dog announced that Uncharted 3 will be broken up into parts and sold separately from each other on the PSN starting today. That means players will be able to play the multiplayer experience separately from the singleplayer experience, or they can buy it all in one big pack. The big change, of course, is that multiplayer is going free to play with some freemium elements thrown in for good measure.
So, how is this gonna work? Naughty Dog says that everybody can play multiplayer for free, no strings attached, up until level 15. After that, the game will continue to keep track of your experience points if you wish to upgrade to the next level cap. According to Joystiq, upgrading to level 25 will cost $5 and removing the level cap entirely will cost $20.
Here's all the extra add-ons players can buy to augment the free-to-play experience:
Those who already purchased Uncharted 3 will be given a special Naughty Dog Paw on their rank icon as well as a special Naughty Dog Paw shirt for their in-game character.
Naughty Dog also promises that more than 40 additional DLC items will be added to the game in the coming months. Here's hoping one of them is a Donut Drake skin that's easier to unlock.
Sony says its next console will accomodate all business models, including free to play, so it's better to start experimenting in the field now. Uncharted 3 should prove to be an excellent test field to see how well a free to play game performs on consoles.