The free-to-play market is blowing up in PC and mobile sectors, but it’s still yet to really take off on consoles. Sony’s hoping to change that, by commissioning content such as Free Realms and the upcoming DUST 514 – and it looks as though other publishers are finally starting to take notice.

Namco Bandai has announced that it is bringing a free licensed multiplayer shooter to the PlayStation Network. Entitled Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation, the free download will support 12 players in six-on-six deathmatch modes.

While Namco Bandai has yet to specify, it looks as though the game will be supported by microtransactions. The announcement notes that the free download comes with “several weapons”, but we’re anticipating more will be available to purchase.

Still, it’s a bold move and one we hope to see more of in the future. Free-to-play is a great business model – one that’s working for the majority of MMO developers – and is something we’d like to see explored further on the PlayStation Network.