Trackmania 2: Canyon stated that the game won't go free to play, as Trackmania Nations is already serving that role as their microtransaction-based racer.
At the Ubisoft Summer Showcase, Beauchemin stated free-to-play is “fashionable” but wouldn't be suitable for Canyon, calling it a "free to stay" title.
Beauchemin explained, “Free to play is so fashionable at the moment. People come up to us and are like, ‘Make Trackmania 2: Canyon‘s free to play,’ and we’re like ‘No – Trackmania Nations. That’s completely free-to-play. You don’t have to pay at any time. And we’re still looking at 700,000 different people playing the game each month."
“We prefer to call Trackmania 2: Canyon ‘Free to Stay’," he continued, "You pay at the entrance and then you stay for as many years as you want. Unlimited content you can download for free from anywhere. You only have the in-game currency that you exchange with your friends through the in-game economy. The spirit is good because you’re not saying ‘Oh! That person stole my item that I paid one Euro for. Give it back!’ It’s fun. It’s a game. You pay 20 Euro and you enjoy it."
It's funny, because "free to stay" is how all PC and console games used to be - you buy it once, you own it forever. However, it's nice that the DLC for Trackmania 2 will be free.
Trackmania 2: Canyon will be released later this year.