Naughty Dog has got a new addition to their team in the form of Anders Howard, the person behind Fortnite’s battle pass progression strategy.
Howard’s former role at Epic Games had him working on 12 seasons of content in Fortnite’s battle pass. He also had a significant influence on Rocket League and Fall Guys, where he introduced battle pass progression.
Seemingly the master of monetizing the hottest new multiplayer games, Naughty Dog must be happy with his choice to move jobs. Now Howard will be working for Naughty Dog as a principal monetization strategist starting in November 2022.
Emphasis on the Us
There hasn’t been any direct confirmation that Howard is set to work on The Last of Us multiplayer. However, his role as lead monetization strategist and previous work on multiplayer games like Fornite does point toward more of this in his future.
Originally, when The Last of Us first launched on PS3 and then on the PS4, completing the main game would unlock a greatly-underrated multiplayer mode. This mode, called Factions, provides you with even more content to play through after the events of the main story.
Last battle pass
Fortnite’s influence was made clear as soon as almost every games studio out there seemed to add a battle royale element to their respective game; looking at you, Fallout 76: Nuclear Winter.
But Epic Games has had an equally great impact on how games incorporate battle passes to monetize their ‘free-to-play’ multiplayer games.
Battle passes have quickly outranked microtransactions as the industry's favorite way for studios to make money as a tiered approach to in-game monetization. At the start of a season, you can purchase different tiers of a battle pass that will allow you to unlock a set progression of in-game items. These are all visible at the beginning of the season, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
A battle pass is seen as the ethical option for monetization. Studios don’t need to worry about the accusations of gambling that comes with loot boxes, players seem to get more for their money, and it is a stable and consistent form of income.
With all this considered, it makes sense that Naughty Dog wants to get on this bandwagon. It's becoming increasingly clear that battle passes are the future of multiplayer games.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.