The trend towards multiplayer-only games has taken a big turn today. Not one, but two big PC titles, Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Elite: Dangerous, are now offering stand-alone versions that just have online multiplayer modes that cost less than the main games.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops III Starter Pack contains all of the multiplayer content of Activision's recent first person shooter for the price of $14.99. It is available to purchase and download via Steam from now until Feb. 29. Activision says:
The Multiplayer Starter Pack gives you access to Public Ranked Multiplayer matches and features including Weapon Paint Shop, Gunsmith, Arena, Freerun, Theater, and the Black Market. "
This version of the game does not contain Black Ops III's single player campaign mode, nor its Zombie modes. Players are capped to level 55 and cannot play in custom multiplayer games. It also doesn't support the upcoming mod tools for Black Ops III. If a person wants to purchase the full version of the game after checking out the Starter Pack, the $14.99 will be deducted from the full $59.99 price.
Frontier Developments has also released Elite Dangerous: Arena on Steam for $7.49. Unlike the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Starter Pack, Elite Dangerous: Arena will be available to purchase and download indefinitely. It includes all of the space fighter-based multiplayer content of Elite: Dangerous but does not contain the main game's exploration modes. The new game also allows players to enter the Close Quarter Combat Championships tournament and its $100,00 prize pool. Again, players who decide to purchase the main Elite: Dangerous game for $29.99 will get a discount equal to the price of Elite Dangerous: Arena.
There's no word yet on if Call of Duty: Black Ops III Starter Pack or Elite Dangerous: Arena will eventually be released for their Xbox One counterparts.