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Big Box VR, the developer behind VR battle royale game Population: One, announced today that its game is going free-to-play on March 9. More specifically, it’ll be free for users playing on Meta Quest 2 and Pro headsets. For those on Steam and Rift, it’ll be available for a reduced price of $19.99. Big Box is also launching new updates for the game at the same time.
Population: One launched in 2020, and was acquired by Meta in 2021. Players who have already purchased the game before it goes free-to-play will receive a free content pack called the Original Banana Bundle. As the name suggests, this includes several banana-themed cosmetics. According to its Meta blog post, the developers hope to “bring POP1 to a larger audience and broaden the social multiplayer experience.”
While any game going free-to-play will likely see a surge in numbers, battle royale games appear to be hitting a saturation point. Games such as Knockout City and Rumbleverse are shutting down permanently (both games were free-to-play at the time). Meta has also shut down one of its most acclaimed VR titles, Echo VR, earlier this month, citing a player count in the low ten-thousands.
In addition to the free-to-play mechanic, the March 9 updates include map changes, new gameplay balances, new single-player modes and an updated in-game shop.
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