Fame and Kudos are touchy subjects
Multiplayer platformer royale Fall Guys went free-to-play last week, with its first free season and a new model launching across new and old platforms. A lot of players have been dipping back in, or jumping on for the first time. But some Fall Guys fans, especially long-time players, seem frustrated with the changes made to its monetization model.
Prior to the free-to-play launch, Mediatonic’s competitive game-show-style platformer Fall Guys was a one-time buy game. With the move to free-to-play, the model has shifted from using Crowns (wins). Now Crowns just go towards a separate, smaller cosmetic track.
The price of Fame
One major area of frustration is with Fame, the currency used to progress in the seasonal pass. It’s similar to the battle pass model used by games like Fortnite. Fall Guys players earn Fame for every match played, which then goes towards levelling up in the pass.
The move to free-to-play has caused some friction, as noted by Gamerant. Some users have discovered that the difference in Fame between finishing in a later stage or getting knocked out immediately is negligible, though. Some players suggest it might be faster to blast through the pass by simply losing.
The frustration here’s a bit understandable. I can say through my own playing over the last week, pass progression started out fast but felt like it slowed down the further I went. The challenges help, but the Dailies and Weeklies are limited.
Crowns are king
Winning also used to carry a more direct cosmetic boon than it does now, too. Where Crowns used to turn into spendable currency for cosmetics in the shop, they now just go towards a longer cosmetics reward track. Those are fun to unlock, with some golden nostalgia lying way, way down the line. But it also means that, coupled with Fame fall-offs, winning just doesn’t carry the same bounty for some.
“Games aren’t fun if it feels like there are no rewards and Fall Guys is giving the players very little,” said one user in a long analysis of the new systems.
Some tension was to be expected over adding more monetization into Fall Guys via the purchasable Show-Bucks (similar to Fortnite V-Bucks). But there seems to be frustration over not just one or two things, but several aspects of the new model.
I say all this, while I have been largely unaware and blissfully enjoying a return to Fall Guys. The shows introduced in some seasons between when I stopped playing and now are a blast, and the move to free-to-play has made it easy to convince friends to download and try it out. Mediatonic posted that it hit a 20-million player milestone within the first 48 hours of its first free season.
That’s all in the short term, though. Mediatonic’s new approach to Fall Guys could cause some long-term tension.