Namco Bandai has decided not to discuss details of Ace Combat Infinity's monetisation model due to the negativity towards free-to-play, instead opting to let players judge the game for themselves by participating in a worldwide beta test later this year.
"We actually tried to explain the monetisation and how it works at first, but it made people confused and some people just said negative things because they didn't understand the whole of the game," project lead Kazutoki Kono told VideoGamer.com, discussing the free-to-play model of the upcoming dogfighter.
"That's why we actually stopped saying the details of it and are right now asking the players and media to try out the beta and see how it actually works as a game. Then we finally can get deeper into the details of the monetisation explanations."
Although Infinity's pricing and monetisation model has yet to be fully detailed, Kotaku revealed last week that players would be required to use "fuel" to deploy new aircraft into battle, a resource that replenishes automatically over time or can be purchased to accelerate gameplay. Additional items will allegedly be available to purchase as well.
Ace Combat Infinity was met with criticism on its reveal earlier this year, with fans voicing their disappointment at the series' transition to free-to-play.
However, some appear to have warmed to the game recently thanks to new trailers showing off its return to the series roots. The game adopts Ace Combat's traditional "very basic and very simple gameplay", Kono explains, bypassing the new mechanics introduced in 2011 release Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
The game will also be split into two modes, including a new story campaign and the game's "main mode", an online co-op mode that sees two teams fighting against NPC enemies for points.
Despite the initial reaction, however, Kono hopes that the move to free-to-play will help "enlarge the fanbase" and encourage "newcomers [to] get into the franchise", which will help boost sales of any future packaged product.
A worldwide beta for Ace Combat Infinity will be available on PlayStation 3 prior to the game's launch later this year. Dates and access requirements for the beta have yet to be revealed. The team also has plans to develop a new Ace Combat title on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.