For anyone remotely interested in PC gaming at the dawn of the F2P era, you've likely heard of Nexon - a game portal that made a name for itself with a wide variety of F2P titles back in the mid-2000s.
One of those titles was Combat Arts - a first-person shooter that gave even Counter Strike a literal run for its money. Boasting several millions of players during its high-point across the world, it was a massive hit even outside its native Korea.
But even with consistent updates since its 2007 debut, Combat Arms recently received its biggest patch yet. Completely overhauling the way it manages its F2P status, it's even been given a slight name change - Combat Arms: Reloaded. With over 600 weapons to choose from, players could once only rent their favourites with in-game currency; reserving permanent ownership for those ready to break their F2P status.
The latest update, however, changes that, making the game more welcoming to newcomers. Speaking to our own TJ Denzer, the game's managers explained the shift. "... we made it so that now any gun or piece of equipment that you would have had to acquire with real money can now be purchased or upgraded into permanence with Game Points." said product manager Marc Sandifer,
Community Manager Almuth Mackowiak chimed in; "It doesn’t take that long either. With about a day or two of play, you could get enough Game Points to get a permanent weapon. For new players it’s even easier to get to that first weapon because you start with a set number of Game Points in your account to get yourself started and acquainted with the game. After you’ve tried out some things in game and in the shooting range that we offer to let players test things, a day or two of play combined with the starting Game Points should get you to that first permanent weapon".
Defending the idea of paying players struggling to gain an advantage, the team commented on how even newcomers to immediately throw cash at the game will have difficulty deciding which weapon to use with over 600 available to choose from.
Combat Arms: Reloaded features revamped graphics, a reworked progression system and 26 different gamemodes on top of its lucrative 60+ map count. If you're looking to understand how a F2P game could counter Counter Strike, you can download and play it through the Nexon web portal.