Developer Robotoki has abandoned its planned free-to-play structure for debut zombie title (yep, another one) Human Element, and has instead decided to release the game as a premium product next year.
Gamasutra reports that as part of that decision the studio has cut its connection with publisher Nexon and been forces to layoff several members of staff.
"As the game evolved we realized that the elements that make Human Element the most fun would be hindered by keeping it a free-to-play experience," Robotoki founder Robert Bowling explained in an email to Gamasutra. "Therefore, we made the decision to switch to a premium experience for our players; which also meant that working with the premier publisher in free-to-play was no longer the best partnership fit for the game we were creating."
Bowling left Infinity Ward in 2012 to found Robotoki. Human Element will be the studio's first game, an open-world survival game set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Rather than just having to worry about pesky undead, the game puts the focus heavily on the various groups of human survivors. Your fellow homo sapiens are the most dangerous enemy, hence the title. Think Day Z rather than Dead Rising.
Bowling says that Robotoki has already found a new publisher for Human Element, and the studio is planning to reveal more before the end of the year.