Six Years Later, Bethesda's Brink Is Suddenly Free-To-Play

Illustration for article titled Six Years Later, Bethesda's Brink Is Suddenly Free-To-Play

Brink was weird. It mashed together multiplayer gunplay with single-player narrative, then spiced up its chunky concoction with parkour and levels set on floating cities (because global warming). It’s also telling that I speak about it in the past tense, because while it continues to exist, you could be forgiven for assuming otherwise.


The Bethesda-published, Splash-Damage-developed game—originally released way back in 2011—is suddenly free-to-play on Steam. Why now? Beats me. The announcement is two sentences long and offers zero details.

I will not, however, look a gift game-that-had-all-the-makings-of-a-cult-hit-had-it-not-been-abandoned-before-its-time in the mouth, though. According to Steam Charts, a site that tracks the player counts of every game on Steam, Brink now has nearly 1,000 people concurrently playing it. That’s way up from the (oof) 10-30 it’s been pulling since the beginning of this year.

If you never got to try Brink but spent many a sweat-stained night wondering “what if, what if,” there’s no better time than the present. And I mean that, because unless Splash Damage has plans to start supporting the game again, I doubt those nearly-1,000 players will stick around for long.

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Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.



Brink was one of the few times a Kotaku article written about a game before it was released convinced me to pay full price for a game upon release. I literally bought into the hype.

Never again.

Edit: If you want to see how positive the coverage for Brink was before release, check out and just read the headlines as they get older.