Genda Bender: Global Agenda Now Free

Putting the MP in gimp suits, that's Global Agenda

Yes! Massively mediocre multiplayer shooter Global Agenda will soon join Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online as the latest subscription-based game to go completely free. Except it’s a bit weirder in Global Agenda’s case, since it always offered the option of playing a cut down experience if you just bought the boxed copy, but whatever. Come “mid April” the new 1.4 patch will bring the new monetisation model, revised skill trees, a new CTF-style game mode and a new raid. Full press release and a fan video showing some game footage can be found after the jump.

ATLANTA – April 7, 2011 — Hi-Rez Studios today announced that “Global Agenda: Free Agent”, the latest update to the Shooter MMO, will enable free-to-play access to all of the game’s current playable content and levels with no purchase required.

The version 1.4 Free Agent update, expected to go live in mid-April, will support free play across all character classes through level 50. This update also introduces a new Dome Defense Raid as high-level player content, a CTF- style Mercenary PvP game-mode with pilotable robots, revised skill-trees across all four character classes, and other changes and content.

For an optional one-time purchase of $19.99 USD (£13.99 GBP, €15.99 EUR), players may upgrade to Elite Agent status, which will accelerate the rate of earning character Imagelevels, gear, and currency and also grant access to premium features such as the login priority, auction house and in-game mail. All players that have previously purchased Global Agenda will be automatically upgraded to Elite Agent status.

“Global Agenda has never required a monthly subscription to play and, for a while now, we have offered a generous free trial for the game.” said Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios COO. “Our experience with the limited free trial has demonstrated to us the great demand among free-to-play gamers for a AAA-quality Shooter MMO like Global Agenda. We believe this latest change will further broaden the game’s popularity and appeal.”

“With this change, we allow players to experience all of the game’s current content and levels for free. We’ve done this in a way that ensures that free players do not have to spend real money to compete on a level playing field with those who do, while still rewarding those loyal players and fans that have purchased the game or otherwise supported the game.”

Effective immediately, until the Free Agent expansion launches:

* Global Agenda is available for $19.99 (£13.99 GBP, €15.99 EUR)
* Upon release of the Free Agent expansion, any player who has purchased Global Agenda will automatically be upgraded to Elite Agent status

Below is a summary of the differences between Free and Elite versions of the game:


* No Level Restriction
* Ability to earn all of the game’s current items without spending real money.
* Access to all of the game’s current playable content, including:
o Sonoran Desert Open Zone
o Special Ops PvE (1- to 4-person Co-Op)
o 10v10 Mercenary PvP
o 4v4 Arena PvP
o Double Agent PvPE
o 10-person Defense Raids (including the new Dome Defense Mission coming in version 1.4).
o Agency vs Agency Gameplay (AvA)

Elite Agent – One-time purchase of $19.99 (£13.99 GBP, €15.99 EUR)

* Earn End-of-Mission XP at twice the rate of a Free-to-Play user
* Earn End-of-Mission Credits and Tokens at twice the rate of a Free-Play user
* Earn End-of-Mission Elite Loot upon winning an instanced PvE or PvP match
* Choose which PvP game types you would like to play when queuing for Mercenary PvP.
* Access the Auction House
* Access In-Game Mail
* Less restrictive chat capabilities
* No ads for in-game voice
* Ability to create Agencies
* Higher Login priority

Both Free-to-Play and Elite Agent players can optionally purchase Boosters within the Global Agenda webstore. For a timed period, Boosters will:

* Double XP, Tokens and Credits earned in Game
* Provide 2,000 tokens a day for free
* Provide an extra end-of-mission Boost Loot dropImage

10-day, 30-day, and 90-day boosters are available. These are available today and will work no differently when the Free Agent release is launched.

Read more in the Free Agent FAQ.

About Hi-Rez Studios

Hi-Rez Studios, Inc, located just outside of Atlanta GA, was established in 2005 to create exceptional online interactive entertainment. In February 2010 the company released the squad-based Shooter-MMO Global Agenda. Hi-Rez is currently developing other competitive online games including Tribes: Ascend. For more information, visit


  1. Dominic White says:

    This game gets a lot of flak across the internet, but I quite enjoy it for exactly the reason why the CoD crowd hate it: Combat is a push-and-pull progression, and nobody dies in one hit. Ever. In fact, there’s abilities that let you completely neutralize projectile damage or even go completely invulnerable for a while.

    It provides some genuinely interesting tactical problems when that guy that you’re shooting can put himself into a complete impenetrable energy bubble that lasts 10 seconds, but stops him from shooting out at you, too.

    Unlike 95% of indie multiplayer games, it actually has a fairly large and active playerbase, too.

  2. SquareWheel says:

    Are those of us that payed for it (and erm, have yet to play) out of luck? ={

    • Dominic White says:

      Erm. Read the article? They’re basically expanding the free trial to encompass access to most content, but those who have bought it will get a range of perks.

    • Archonsod says:

      Anyone who paid for it automatically gets upgraded to the elite agent package.

      From the sounds of it you’ll not notice a difference. The free players on the other hand seem to get gimped XP and cash awards from missions and no ability to choose which type of PvP mission they want to queue for. Oh, and elite agents get log in & queue priority too.

    • SquareWheel says:

      I did read the article, it didn’t mention anything about those who already purchased it. I’m glad to hear the purchase wasn’t lost, though.

      Still, “gimping” the experience gain seems a little mean. I suppose that’s fair, though.

    • Keymonk says:

      “* Upon release of the Free Agent expansion, any player who has purchased Global Agenda will automatically be upgraded to Elite Agent status”

      Didn’t read it well enough.

    • SquareWheel says:

      Whoops! I read it three times over. ={

  3. Enikuo says:

    They never actually charged a subscription – they intended to be a subscription game, but never followed through. I don’t know what you mean about a “cut-down” version. There was a trial, if that’s what you mean, but that didn’t require you to buy the box.

    Edit – I guess someone, and it might as well be me, should explicitly point out that the first sentence of this article is wrong. It is not a subscription game, like LOTRO. It was a buy-to-play, more like Guild Wars. They introduced booster packs, which boost experience and drops, but those were are also not subscriptions.

    • JohnH says:

      They did charge a monthly subscription for AvA in the beginning.

    • Enikuo says:

      I don’t recall them ever actually charging a subscription for anything. I remember them planning to, and ramping up to, but then deciding not to at the last minute. I could be wrong.

      I still think that saying they’re currently a sub-based game is wrong…and RPS is always so right about games. Always.

  4. FKD says:

    I gave it a shot because it had the free option and I figured why not.. The beginning with its wide open buildings with the exact same insides over and over reminded me of games from the 90s (for some reason Oni, although I may be wrong on that..I have not played that since it came out..). But honestly I could deal with that, no problem. Once I got to the main central hub, the couple of missions I did were..ok..really. My biggest issue with it (and I had a feeling it would be like this going in) was that it seemed to have that typical RAAAAH!!! PvP crowd (and I know not all of you are like that) that act as if they have just drank a six pack of redbull and testosterone. And are lacking quite a bit of maturity. The chat was pretty much filled with sexist, racist, and homophobic comments. I really get tired of seeing that kind of thing and it is frankly enough for me to usually write off a game based on the community. With that said, I did try to see if I could close global/regional/etc chat (which I do whenever I play WoW, especially in the early levels) and after a minutes just gave up. There was not enough in the game there for me to enjoy to begin with, let alone try and find a way to enjoy it without listening to all the crap.

    • Stick says:

      Heh. Yes, the amount of useless dorks is comparable to… erm… Jita local?

      You’re right in that if you want an MMO, this isn’t really the game. It’s a third-person shooter with some persistant features. I guess.

    • undead dolphin hacker says:

      Homophobic, racist, and sexist? So you’re saying the chat was on the internet.

      Anecdote: Bought GA: Standstorm on sale. It’s OK. I found the community to be very helpful and polite if you asked for advice. People we being silly/spammy in chat, but I never saw any truly heinous stuff.

      All in all it contributed to the feeling of a pretty lively game. It seemed well-populated for what it was trying to do, at least.

    • FKD says:

      Yes, the chat was on the internet and I am well aware of how crappy it often is. My point being though is that there are plenty of other games and places (on that same crazy internets) that are NOT like this. This site is a good example. Another would be that I have been playing a fair amount of LotRO lately and have not seen the same kind of junk I saw in GA. So in the end my point was that the community did not exactly seem to be the greatest and that was a negative for me.

  5. Stick says:

    It’s a nice game. The one-off “Merc” matches are rather TF2-with-jetpacks. (Except eerily silent. I get unnerved when there’s no random yelling during setup.)

    Anyways. Entirely free? You should try it. Yesh.

  6. Joe Maley says:

    Bought on release, got a refund during it’s pre-release beta.

    Played the demo a few months ago, it had a lot of improvements but it just wasn’t any fun.

    I think it was because I had super high hopes for a polished FPS-MMO. It turned out to just be another persistent-unlocks fps (cod, crysis) but with a 3d lobby.

  7. Jumwa says:

    An interesting game with a certain appeal to it, however, it had some majour faults from my perspective. Grouping with my partner to do questing was a nuisance. If we logged out outside the hub city then we were automatically placed in different versions of the quest area, and the only way to get back to the same one would be to trek all the way back to the city and re-enter. And sometimes even that didn’t work.

    So aside from losing points right off the bat for being annoying like that, the game was just exceptionally hard. Questing was tense. You could so easily get taken down by normal quest mobs, and you had to be constantly dodging and flying around to avoid their attacks, which often just led me to blunder into more mobs. My partner and I died time and time again until we just got fed up with the whole thing and eventually uninstalled.

    Too ‘hardcore’ for me, I’m afraid.

  8. trjp says:

    I played the trial and it just totally failed to grab me – I suspect it falls between 2 schools – the CoD/TF/CS shooter crowd and the Tribes types – and satisifies neither??

  9. frymaster says:


    option of playing a cut down experience if you just bought the boxed copy

    uh, what?

    GA was originally intended to be subscription based, true. This was changed before they got around to actually got around to charging anyone. It’s been free to play (but not buy) since basically forever. There was a subscription option to get faster XP rates etc. but nothing game-changing.

    The difference is it’s now going free to obtain as well as free to play, with people who have bought it now getting the rewards subscribers used to get, and people who haven’t paid not getting access to the auction house or ability to create an agency.

    tldr; the game has only ever been as subscription based as, say, warhammer online currently is.

  10. darthmajor says:

    Oh my, this sounds interesting, will give it a spin. How much do you reckon

    * Choose which PvP game types you would like to play when queuing for Mercenary PvP.
    * Access the Auction House

    will affect free playing? Is it like ‘unplayable without auction house’ important, or ‘ooh that’s a neat hat!’?

    • Gnoupi says:

      No auction house and no mail means that like trial accounts earlier, you can earn money, get loot, but you can’t buy from others or even send or receive anything from other players, since these are the two only ways

    • Stick says:

      Choosing Merc game type means checkboxing the map types you’ll queue for. (As in, “I’ll take any of these”.) It doesn’t matter too much.

      In my limited experience, the only truly atrocious one is Breach – which, at least on offense, is like playing Dustbowl on instaspawn. Total defense lockdown is waaay too easy. And then people yell at you for not killing five engineers and their umpteen deathbots all by your lonesome. While they’re safely sniping half a mile away. With rocket launchers.

      Ok, maybe that didn’t make too much sense.

      Read: “grumble”.

  11. squareking says:

    Wanted to enjoy this very badly, but we simply don’t work together. It looks fun and pretty in videos/screenshots, but it’s just cumbersome and a hassle to play. I’m sure it’s a case of “once you’re level (X), the game really opens up,” but meh. Maybe becoming a l33t member will entice me to try again.

  12. wcaypahwat says:

    So we could look at it like they’re expanding the demo, rather than cutting down the full game, right?

  13. mkultra says:

    AvA was good – that is, until nearly every top-tier player quit.

  14. krejcie2 says:

    People REALLY miss the point on this game and its kinda frustrating to read someones review that says “OMG the questing sucked this isn’t at all like WoW” I’ve been playing the game on and off for about 9 months now and really enjoy it. Being free to play i don’t feel like i need to login all the time and you never feel left behind if you haven’t been on in a week or so. This game is not what most people call an mmo it is much closer to a third person shooter with some mmo features. However unlike most shooters it also has a very developed co-op game in addition to pvp. Like Dominic White said the tatics do become quite interesting too since no one dies outright and the abilities across classes create a very wide range of play styles. Also levels and gear do help and allow you to specialize your class, but do not have a large enough effect to make it unplayable at low levels.

  15. Hallgrim says:

    I wish the Monday Night Combat guys would make some metagame virtual world stuff like this.

  16. Leprikhan says:

    This news article strikes me as surprisingly viscous…

    • Dominic White says:

      And vicious, too. A lot of the gaming press really seem to have it out for Global Agenda. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to have stopped it from being at least a modest success. Plenty of players around at any given time.