Uncharted 3 multiplayer goes free-to-play

Uncharted 3's robust online multiplayer is going free-to-play. Naughty Dog today announced that anyone with a PS3 will be able to download the client and play through their first 15 levels for free, with plenty of paid unlocks available for those who decide to stick around.

"One of the problems with multiplayer is its very high barrier to entry," Uncharted 3 game director Justin Richmond told us. "You have to plunk down a bunch of money for a game you may never like."

Naughty Dog elected to throw open the doors to its competitive and cooperative multiplayer experience as a gateway to Uncharted 3--free players can easily purchase a digital upgrade to its Game of the Year edition, unlocking all the content paid players are used to. If they're not ready to go that far, fortune hunters can snag individual purchases like cosmetic items or increased level caps a la carte, and all their experience past the cap will be saved--just not accessible.

The new broken-out multiplayer experience will integrate with the full game's current player base, and should be a good shot in the arm to its active community. We asked if Naughty Dog might make this a standard option for its multiplayer games moving forward--such as The Last of Us.

"In the future, is this something we'll continue doing?" Richmond asked. "Hopefully, if people like it."

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.