In theory, naked war is always free. Why, I could take my clothes off, run into the street and start attacking someone right now, and I wouldn't pay a penny for it. Yes, I would pay with my freedom and dignity, but I wouldn't have to open my wallet. Which is just as well, as I left it in my trousers when I took them off to run outside naked.
What is different is that the Pickford Bros' indie turn-based strategy game Naked War, which was a mini-sensation amongst clever folk few years back, has gone free to play.
It's been quasi-free for a while, but in a model that's later popped up in a similiarish form in Neptune's Pride and the like, unless you were invited you needed to fork out a few groats to initiate new games. No longer! It's now completely free, as team Pickford celebrates five years of the game servers running without interruption.
Said Ste Pickford, MD of Naked War devs Zee-3, " Naked War was the first server-based game we'd ever written, so we were a bit nervous about making sure the service was always available. I half expected the server code to fall over after a few weeks! Keeping it up and running for five years isn't bad going really, for a little indie like us, especially when a lot of big commercial games switch their servers off after only 18 months.
"It's rotten that so many online games are effectively lost forever once their servers are switched off. The video game industry doesn't always do a very good job of preserving its heritage, and the biggest publishers are some of the worst offenders in this regard. We think it's important to keep online games alive."
This is true. EA, we're looking at you. Looking at you slightly angrily.
Even though the game is now ultro-free, "we're still committed to keeping the servers up and running for as long as we can, and making the game available to anyone who wants to play it - newcomers and existing players alike."
And next on the plate? "We plan to make a sequel to the game at some point in the future - the game would be perfect for Facebook or one of the console messaging systems - but in the meantime we decided that we should let anybody play the existing PC version of Naked War just as it is."
What's a console messaging system and a book of faces? Sounds rubbish to me. Stick with PC.
Naked War, in all its freeosity, is here.