Nvidia announced that it plans to give away 1,000 copies of For Honor via GeForce Experience. Although this could be part of Ubisoft's continued support of the GeForce Experience giveaways--the company has also given away Ghost Recon Wildlands, Watch Dogs 2, and other titles-- it also seems like an attempt to staunch the fighting game's bleeding player base.
For Honor debuted in February with a simple premise: letting people fight as vikings, samurai, and knights in a dynamic mix of hack-and-slash action with fighting game-inspired mechanics. Fights come in a few different flavors, with the most popular being one-on-one duels and crowded battlefields where teams of players fight with computer-controlled grunts. The game is basically a few pirates short of the ultimate power fantasy.
But that power fantasy doesn't seem to have captured as many people as Ubisoft might have liked. GitHyp, a company that collects data from Twitch and Steam to determine a title's popularity, reported in June that For Honor had lost 95% of the players it had at launch. (It's worth noting that these aren't internal figures, and they consider the game's PC audience only, so it could have more players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.)
That drop-off could have been caused by a few things. Players expressed disdain when a Reddit user figured out that you would need to spend roughly $730 to acquire all of the game's items, for example, while others have complained about the game being client-based instead of server-based. It's also been a banner year for games, with incredibly well-received titles like Persona 5, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Nier: Automata, among others, all debuting within the span of a few months. That could have been enough to draw people away from For Honor.
Regardless of the reason, giving away 1,000 copies of For Honor via GeForce Experience could help Ubisoft attract more players. It's hard to argue with "free," and if people like what they see, they might convince their friends to pick up the game as well. Or they could get the game and play it once before moving on. Either way, this is a way to get For Honor in front of 1,000 people who might not have played it otherwise.
For its part, Nvidia is using the giveaway to show people what its software is capable of. The company drew particular attention to Ansel, its screenshot tool, in the press release about the GeForce Experience giveaway. For Honor also supports up to 4K resolutions, HBAO+, G-Sync, and Nvidia Surround.
If you have an Nvidia graphics card and you're curious about For Honor, you can enter for a chance to win the game by going into GeForce Experience and opting into communications from Nvidia. The company will notify the giveaway's winners about their prize on July 18.