POPULATION: ONE, the hit battle royale shooter from BigBox VR, is going free-to-play next month on the Quest platform.
Initially released in late 2020, Population: One has essentially become VR’s de facto battle royale, bringing large-scale cross-platform battles to Quest and SteamVR headsets.
Now Meta-owned studio BigBox VR says it’s going free-to-play on Quest 2 and Quest Pro starting on March 9th, which will also include a host of new goodies to previous owners of the game, coming in addition to an update which will include new content.
Notably, it’s not going free-to-play on PC VR platforms; both the Oculus Rift and Steam version of the game will be priced at $20 starting March 9th, which is a $10 discount from the original price.
Those PC versions will include 1,200 ($20) worth of the in-game currency Bureau Gold (BG), something the studio says is being done to prevent potential cheaters from easily making a new account on Steam/Rift platforms.
All owners of the game before the March 9th at 10AM PT free-to-play update will get a bundle, called the ‘Original Banana Bundle Rewards’, which the studio estimates at an $80 value. This includes:
Legendary “PJ Potassium” Character Skin
Legendary “Prestige” Character Skins (4)
Rare “Prestige” Full Gun Set (14)
Exclusive Title: “Original Banana”
Exclusive Calling Card: “Celebration”
Exclusive Spray: “I Was Here”
1,000 Bureau Gold
Full Access to the Level Progression Track
There’s also a host of new content coming to the game to kick off the free-to-play update on March 9th, including a new single player mode with dynamic bots and in-game rewards, new player lobbies, a larger sandbox limit of 12 and 24 players, and an all-new shop featuring over 100 new character and weapon skin. You can check out the full changelog in the Meta blogpost.
As for the upcoming roadmap, BigBox VR says both a Sandbox Battle Royale Mode and Sandbox Battle Royale Playlist are slated to arrive on March 30th. The studio says we should also expect new weapons, updates on the Evolving Map, Sandbox features & modes, and matchmaking improvements in the near future.