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Raiders of the Broken Planet rebranded as Spacelords, now free-to-play

Castlevania developer MercurySteam shakes up its shooter-adventure game

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Developer MercurySteam is relaunching its 4v1 shooter-adventure game Raiders of the Broken Planet as Spacelords, the developer announced today. The game will change names in August, but another major change is already in effect: MercurySteam made the game free to play.

When Raiders of the Broken Planet launched in 2017, the game was sold in episodic chunks that cost $9.99 each. Players purchased portions of the campaign, which let four players take on an another player (dubbed the Antagonist) and a legion of AI-controlled enemies through story-based missions. A prologue for Raiders of the Broken Planet was made available for free.

In an official announcement, Spacelords game director Enric Álvarez said, “When we launched Raiders [in] September last year, we hoped its low price point of [$]9.99 per campaign- would open it up to a large number of users, but it didn’t work as we planned. Our vision is to see our game enjoyed by millions of users for years to come and putting all of the game’s rich content into their hands for free is the way to realize it. We’ve answered our community and hope this removal of any payment barriers will build our devoted community further.”

Spacelords is, according to MercurySteam, “a new game built on the back of Raiders.” The developer said that the differences in the new version of the game go deeply enough that “the best way to communicate them to players is by re-branding and inviting everyone to experience the new Spacelords by themselves” when it officially goes live Aug. 23.

On that day, the game’s fourth campaign, Council Apocalypse, will launch, as will a new character named Valeria. That content will be free.

MercurySteam didn’t detail how its new free-to-play monetization structure will work, but said that players who have previously purchased a campaign will receive “exclusive, top-quality game content” that won’t be available to free-to-play Spacelords players.

Spacelords is available to download for free on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.