Fans of free games rejoice, because City Interactive has just announced their upcoming free-to-play FPS World of Mercenaries. The PC exclusive title will focus on skill-based, competitive gameplay with, "teamwork as a core element for player progression."
"Our veteran team is comprised of some of the most devoted FPS fans in the world and we’re excited to use our knowledge and experience to fuse the best elements of previously released games in the genre with new and exciting advancements – be it in terms of graphics, controls or skill based game play."
City Interactive is planning an extensive closed beta program, likely similar to current free-to-plays in development Tribes: Ascend and Path of Exile. Invite more and more beta testers to both test your game and spread excitement by word-of-mouth, up until you're ready for full release. By then you have a base of players for your game who are willing to invest to make it better.
The developers are also currently working on Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, to be released later this year. Oddly, Ghost Warrior 2 is built on the Crysis engine, CryEngine 3, and World of Mercenaries is built using Unreal Engine 3. I'm sure there's many technical decisions involved, but luckily for players both engines produce great looking results.
We'll update you again as soon as we hear World of Mercenaries is accepting beta invites, or if they release any new gameplay details.