Edge: The Friday Game: Pirate Galaxy

One of the central fixations of this year's Develop conference, held in Brighton earlier this week, is what will happen when the kind of experiences offered in the emerging free-to-play games market start to regularly rival those provided by their more traditional counterparts. In other words, who will manage to thrive in these strange new waters, and who will be swiftly dragged below and ground against the rocks?

Pirate Galaxy, a stripped-down science fiction MMO from German developer Splitscreen Studios was one of the best examples of this lurking threat available: a game that not only illustrates the staggering leaps free titles have made in the last few years, but also hints at a few of the ways in which the free-to-play financial model can in turn impact the fundamental design of games.

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