Developer Naughty Dog is looking to invigorate the the Uncharted 3 multiplayer community by making that aspect of the game its own free-to-play download. There's more to the move, of course, because it also allows them to test out the freemium business model, with the addition of microtransactions in the form of premium downloadable content.
Naughty Dog lead game designer Robert Cogburn talked to Joystiq about some of the available transactions, which range from the Co-op Arena and Adventure modes to characters and purchases that raise the level cap to 25 or even remove it completely.
The free base pack, which is available on PSN today, includes competitive multiplayer with a level 15 cap. Some examples of the pricing were given, too. Raising the cap to 25, for instance, is priced at $4.99, while the Co-op Arena is $9.99. You'll even be able to purchase the single-player campaign as a separate premium download.
Cogburn on the decisions made for pricing and separation: "We've looked at some models for other games, though nothing really played too great an influence on us… We kind of just broke down the game a la carte. You can get the single-player, or the competitive, or the co-op. Or you can get the 'Game of the Year' edition ($39.99) for all of it."
Naughty Dog will also be keeping an eye on what modes and downloads folks gravitate toward, and what ends up being the most popular. It may not mean much to those who already own the game, but if I could have just purchased the single-player game by itself from day one, I totally would have.