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Exclusive: Blacklight sequel to be free-to-play game; first screenshot released

In 2010 developer Zombie Studios released Blacklight: Tango Down, a downloadable near-future themed first person shooter. Pricing for the game was just $15. At the time of the game's release, Big Download learned from Zombie's CEO Mark Long that a sequel was already in the works. Today Big Download has learned exclusively that the sequel will have an even cheaper price; free.

Yes, the Blacklight: Tango Down sequel (which at the moment is titled "Blacklight" for now) will be released as a free-to-play game. According to what Long told us today, "The full game will be free along with premium content that can be purchased in-game. Blacklight will feature a large number of improvements based on the player feedback we've gotten. And we hope going free-to-play will close that loop so we can respond even faster to player preferences."

So why go with the free-to-play/microtransaction business model? Long told us, "The free-to-play model is something we've been interested in since we first began working with Korean publishers four years ago. Free-to play is the model in Asia. It's exploding in China growing fast in Europe and emerging here in Facebook and iOS games."

The sequel will not reuse any of the content of the original Blacklight: Tango Down, according to Long. It will be an all new game with new weapons, levels, items and more. That includes the previously announced drivable mech vehicles. You can see the mech in the background of the first ever publicly released screenshot above (you can check out a high-res version when you click the above image). Long told us that the sequel will use the latest version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 tech.

The Blacklight sequel does not yet have a release date and Long would not comment on who might be publishing the sequel (the original Blacklight Tango Down was published by Ignition Entertainment). We hope to have more info on the game in the coming weeks and months.

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