Put on your war face. Modern Combat 5: Blackout is now free-to-play. Up until now, downloading Gameloft’s first person shooter would set you back $3.99 (and prior to that, $6.99 at launch).

If you paid to fight prior to the switch, Gameloft will reward you with Veteran status, which includes unlimited energy and some other bonuses.

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Modern Combat 5 product manager Valeriu Ispir explained why the change is necessary in a press release distributed by Gameloft earlier today:

“Ultimately, the switch to free-to-play means the game will have a longer lifetime,” he said, “so we can invest more in the long-term update plan and in the servers which need to support a significantly larger player base.”

Ispir promises the game’s balance won’t be altered, however. “One thing we’re not messing with is the competitive balance players have come to expect in Modern Combat.”

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The update includes a host of additional tweaks, items, and upgrades. There’s a new soldier class, Support, which offers healing and buffs to allies. There’s also a new sixth weapon tier for all weapon classes, additional character customization options, server upgrades for a better multiplayer experience, and controller support.

You can grab Modern Combat 5 from the App Store and Google Play. At the time of this writing, the update was live on the iOS version of the game but has yet to come through on the Android version.