Natural Selection 2 tries out a reverse Kickstarter

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Natural Selection 2 just got updated with the free Reinforced Expansion and developer Unknown Worlds would like the community to help recoup the cost of producing it. The free DLC adds female Marines, new weapons, Linux support, a much-needed single player tutorial, a Commander tutorial, practice bots, and a lot more. In all, Unknown Worlds says the cost of making that content was about $500K. To keep the update free, they’ve turned to the community for support.

“We are also immensely proud that Reinforced is free. Six months of game development is not cheap, and we have often discussed how we might continue to pay for keeping the studio focused on Natural Selection 2 full time. Various options were discussed – Including making Reinforced a separate Steam DLC, or introducing in-game micro-tran$actions. But these monetisation methods do not fit with our culture. Knowing we must pay the bills to keep the lights on, we decided to introduce the Reinforcement Program.”

The voluntary Reinforcement Program allows players to donate money to Unknown Worlds. Like a Kickstarter, there are tiers of membership that offer various goodies, up to a “Game Director” level that includes flying out to San Francisco to hang out with the developers.

Natural Selection 2 is 75% off this weekend on Steam and is also free to try for the duration of the sale.