- The Long Dark will receive paid DLC for survival mode for the first time since its inception. This solution was insisted on by the users themselves for some time;
- The campaign is to take the form of a season pass lasting about 15-18 months and including, among others, new regions and mechanics.
- After the debut of the fifth episode of the story mode, Raphael van Lierop (founder of the Hinterland) will hand over the helm of the game to the current lead designer - Katie Sorrell. He himself will take on new projects.
The Long Dark - a survival game from Hinterland, will change its strategy to include new content in the game. The developers have been making all updates and expansions available for free since the game's inception. They did this continuously since 2014, when the title debuted in early access.
After years of following such model the developers have decided, however, that they will start introducing paid DLCs to the survival mode, which initially will be purchased in a form imitating a season pass. According to Raphael van Lierop - the studio's founder and the game's creative director - die-hard fans of The Long Dark themselves insisted on it.. The developers have informed about their decision on the game's official blog, under the entry there is no shortage of comments supporting the idea.
The Long Dark will receive a season pass for the first time in 8 years
Last year, the devs conducted a survey among the community centered around the game on the future of the title. Almost 80% of users supported the idea of creating paid DLC to the survival mode. However, this was not synonymous with the possibility of implementing such a solution. The problem for the studio turned out to be the separation of the story mode from survival, so that both aspects of the game could be developed separately.
- The work on separating them lasted since the release of the fourth episode focused on the story of William Mackenzie and Astrid Greenwood and finally came to an end. From now on, both modes will receive separate updates, which will streamline and speed up the whole process. This will also allow for expansions to be developed exclusively with the sanbox mode in mind.
- The DLC release model has not been specified yet, but according to Raphael van Lierop it will resemble the one known from season passes. The developers are planning a campaign that will last between 15 and 18 months and will include regular updates. The studio calls it "second early access," not because of the release of not-quite-finished content, but due to increased release frequency.
- After this period, finished expansions will also be available for purchase separately in specially designed bundles.
- The DLC will include new regions, challenges and mechanics. Some updates of the survival mode will remain free of charge, although they will offer smaller changes than those introduced by the developers so far. They will mainly focus on technical improvements.
"I promise that this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning," said Raphael van Lierop on the studio's new strategy
According to the blog post, devs at Hinterland are also preparing for more serious changes. With the fifth episode, the story of The Long Dark will reach its climax with Raphael van Lierop handing over the reins to Katie Sorrell, who has held the position of lead designer for every story episode to date and has worked on all regions since Pleasant Valley was released in 2015.
van Lierop has announced that he will continue to oversee the future of The Long Dark. He also acknowledged that the time has come for the long-announced transformation of Hinterland into a multi-project team. Therefore, he will soon go on a "quiet and, hopefully, fruitful creative process", during which he will try to come up with an idea that will top his latest "child".
- Hinterland - official website