Eight years after its successful Kickstarter campaign, the survival game The Long Dark is introducing its first paid update path for its survival mode “later this year”.
Besides a fee to purchase its soundtracks, this is the first paid content Hinterland Studio has added to The Long Dark, and while the team is “still working through the details of the roadmap and the release plans”, studio founder Raphael van Lierop says via a detailed blog (opens in new tab) post that in order that the game “continues to be financially self-sustaining”, a premium season pass is on the way.
The April Dev Diary is here! The diary includes important information about the future of #TheLongDark, news about Survival Mode, and more.Learn more: https://t.co/50xyiYHpgX pic.twitter.com/2dJnD3uaSaApril 29, 2022
The premium content – currently expected to be “some kind of ‘season pass’-type approach” – will release later this year with “a 15-18 month campaign of updates that unlock for anyone who has purchased the pass. The updates will come on a regular cadence over the course of that period”.
“The pass will include a combination of content and gameplay system updates, including new regions, new challenges, new mechanics, etc., as well as general improvements and updates to core systems in the game,” the update explains. “Additionally, for anyone who doesn’t like the season pass style approach and prefers to only pay for content when it’s complete, we will re-package the season’s content into 3-4 individual paid DLC packages.
“We’re still working on pricing, but the season pass will provide a discount on the combined price of the DLC, and each piece of paid DLC will be very fairly priced.
“We want to make sure our existing players who choose not to buy any more content (or are unable to afford it) are still going to have a great experience of The Long Dark, and won’t feel left behind,” the update adds. “So we’ll also continue to provide some free updates to the base Survival game, so anyone who doesn’t buy the pass will get something. These updates will generally be smaller, more modest improvements compared to what you will see being added to the paid content stream, which seems only fair.”
The blog ends by explaining that whilst he will retain the role of creative director, van Lierop is stepping away from The Long Dark and passing the reins to 30-year game design veteran Katie Sorrell, who’s been van Lierop’s “close design collaborator for the last seven years”.
“I promise this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning,” he said.
Haven’t come across The Long Dark before? “It’s a game that encourages and rewards exploration, but you have to work for it,” Andy Kelly explains (opens in new tab). “Its Canadian wilderness is a brutal place, where death lurks around every corner. If the wolves don’t get me, the freezing chill of the wind or the creep of starvation will. And then the wolves will get me. Either way: the wolves win.”
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