I sometimes long for the golden era of rocket jumps and jump pads, but technically those days never ended. Epic are still making a game called Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 persists as Quake Live [official site], a remake-with-bells-on released in 2010 which came to Steam last year. Now it’s switched from free-to-play to a one-time payment model and those bells have been joined by whistles, as it’s been updated with Steamworks support.
Previously Quake Live was free to play but with a subscription service that gave you access to extras like stat-tracking for $36 a year. That’s now gone, replaced with a one-time $10/£7 entry fee for new players. If you’d ever previously installed the game on Steam however, subscriber or not, you can continue to play without now needing to buy it. If you were a subscriber but you didn’t install the game on Steam in time however, you can still contact Quake Live support for assistance in getting the game without paying extra.
Steamworks support brings with it a huge host of changes, outlined over at the game’s Steam update page. That includes “Steam for Friends, Chat, Lobbies, Voice Chat, Server Browser, Statistics, Achievements, Anti-cheat, Trading Cards, and Workshop.”
There are a lot of benefits there – especially the ease of downloading custom levels through the Workshop – but the closure of the existing service means the loss of five-years worth of player stats and friends lists. It means that popular community sites like QLRanks no longer function.
Here’s the trailer they released when the game first came to Steam, which is still lovely: