Bungie's first game since Halo is a freemium pirate combat iPad game?

Crimson Steam PiratesWhy yes, and it's hitting the App Store globally (in phases) as of this writing, Pocket Gamer reports. It was recently revealed that "Crimson," the mysterious first project by Halo creator Bungie's new label, Bungie Aerospace, is a free-to-play steampunk pirate ship combat game for the iPad. Developed by Harebrained Schemes and published by Bungie, this is far of a cry as it gets from the legendary developer's previous work.

Officially titled "Crimson: Steam Pirates," the game throws players into an alternate Civil War era in which steam technology has taken off and powers technologically-advanced pirate ships. You're Captain Thomas Blood as he conquers the Caribbean Sea in turn-based battles of strategy and smart move-making. Of course, thanks to Bungie, players will be able to track their Crimson stats and progress on Bungie.net (and hopefully even in the Bungie iOS app).

Bungie is far from the first developer to enter the free-to-play mobile or social games space. Valve is already knee-deep in freemium goodness, thanks to multiple updates to its Steam game store and network like free-to-play game offerings. Atari recently reiterated its focus on social and mobile games, as did a number of big time game designers like John Romero, Will Wright and Richard Garriott, to name a few.

Crimson Steam Pirates iPad
While the game is available for free, additional content is available for an in-game download that costs $1.99. That does sound pricey, but based on the fact it's Chapter 2 in the storyline, "Tales of Captain Blood," this sounds like a collection of new missions. Crimson: Steam Pirates is exclusive to iPad at the moment, and should hit western App Stores later today.

[Image Credit: Pocket Gamer]

Are you surprised that the creator of one the biggest retail games ever has done a near complete 180 to freemium games? What do you think this means for both Bungie and the existing free-to-play games scene? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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