Krafton has shared an update on Subnautica 2 confirming that the game is adopting a game-as-a-service co-op model instead of following the usual single-player survival mechanics that made the series so popular in the first place.
During a recent financial earnings call, Unknown Worlds Entertainment, who is responsible for publishing Subnautica 2 shared a slide on its upcoming games. The slide regarding Subnautica 2 describes the game as a game as a service title but also confirms Subnautica 2 will feature co-op with up to 4 players.
The slide also says Subnautica 2 has been built on Unreal Engine 5 and will have “enhanced replayability”.
Of course, since the announcement, Subnautica fans have hit back at Krafton for going in this direction. It also makes sense given how the game’s fan base has been built on the previous experiences – single-player survival mechanics. It also doesn’t help that we just saw the fruits of another recent live-service game with co-op support – *cough-cough Suicide Squad* (which is pretty abysmal if you as me),
One fan on Reddit says the announcement is “Really sad news for Subnautica fans. I get why they’d do it, but it doesn’t make it okay. Games as a service are predatory.” Another user says “This kinda bullshit is the result of top-down decisionmaking by management types, certainly not helped by the fact that Unknown Worlds was bought by publisher Krafton in 2021. Publishers don’t invest for fun, they demand profit maximization and all too often trend-chasing.”
Following the mass backlash from the announcement, Krafton was forced to share an update regarding these so-called “live service” features. The developer claims that even though the presentation clearly mentioned live service, the game should not be looked at that way. The statement reads:
“In reference to ‘Games-as-a-Service,’ we simply plan to continually update the game for many years to come, just like the previous two Subnautica games. Think our Early Access update model, expanded. No season passes. No battle passes. No subscription.”
When it comes to the game’s co-op, Krafton also says the game can be played in single-player without ever needing to join co-op. At least fans are excited for the game’s co-op mode.
We won’t know exactly how much of a live-service game Subnautica 2 will be until it releases. The game is still in very early development and is expected to launch into early access in 2025. Krafton has assured fans that the early access period will see the game grow as development proceeds. Perhaps that’s what it meant with the whole “live service” statement.
Source: Unknown Worlds Entertainment