Aeria Games has just started a closed beta of a free-to-play game called “Metal Assault” which plays like a PC version of Metal Slug. But it’s also got MMORPG things attached to it, like experience points and stores. Oh, and lots of zombies. It’s actually pretty fun in a throwaway kind of way where you can hop in, kill a few zombies for coins and XP, and then move on to something else after your break is over.
So how will it make money? Microtransactions. The store for that isn’t open yet, but if you have the real-world cash, you’ll be able to buy special items unavailable to everyone else that opts to play for free. Apparently it’s a model that’s worked really well over in Asia and is starting to migrate over here with more of these smaller MMOs. Kind of like DLC on a nitpicky scale.
The client is free to download and play from the official site and here’s the trailer to show off a little of what it’s about. Even though it’s a closed beta, I was still able to log in (you’ll have to create a free account) and try it out.