E3 2015: The Long Dark Brings Wilderness Survival To The Xbox One Game Preview


The Long Dark is a survival game that has now chosen to launch itself readily from the springboard of indie-fied success onto the new Xbox Game Preview service. Now, the game will become playable on the Xbox One because of Microsoft’s choice to court the indie market. Because of its genre, The Long Dark’s choice to continue to ride the wave of gamer satisfaction and success to the console will be an interesting one, and we’ll see where that lands them. I’m not seeing it as either a positive or a negative at this point, but it is certainly an interesting choice for Xbox nonetheless.

Here is more information from the game’s Official Press Release:

During today’s media briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, CA, Xbox announced Hinterland Studio Inc.’s The Long Dark as the first survival game to launch on Xbox One, and one of the first of a select number of titles coming to Game Preview on Xbox One, a new way for fans to purchase work-in-progress digital titles and participate in the development process by giving feedback to developers as they continue to update their games.

The Long Dark has already enjoyed significant success on Steam’s Early Access platform on the PC, selling nearly 350,000 units over nine months and garnering over 95% positive player reviews. The expertise that Hinterland has developed over the past months, and The Long Dark’s reputation as one of the highest quality community-informed titles, contributed to Microsoft’s choice to bring the game to its innovative new Game Preview on Xbox One program, a first on any console.

“We’re excited to offer a select list of games via Xbox Game Preview on Xbox One, enabling Xbox players the opportunity to get involved with the development of innovative game experiences with excellent development teams behind them by offering feedback throughout the development process.” said Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox. “Hinterland’s The Long Dark is the perfect example of the quality and innovation we anticipate in all our Game Preview titles.”

Hinterland’s survival experience, The Long Dark, has so far only revealed its non-narrative, freeform Sandbox survival mode. Season One of its highly anticipated episodic Story mode, featuring the voice talents of Mark Meer, Jennifer Hale, David Hayter, and Elias Toufexis, has been shrouded in secrecy, but will be free to all players who purchase the game through Game Preview on Xbox One when the Story mode launches later in 2015.

“We’re thrilled with how community-informed development has helped us improve the player experience in The Long Dark, providing us with invaluable feedback and significant development resources with which to achieve our full vision for our exploration-survival experience,” said Raphael van Lierop, Hinterland Studio founder and creative director, and director of The Long Dark. “Being able to partner with Xbox to bring survival games to the console audience for the first time is an incredible opportunity for us. We can’t wait to add Xbox players to our community and incorporate their feedback into how we continue building and improving the game. And when we launch Story mode later in 2015, we’ll be sharing it with an even bigger audience, paving the way for more episodes and future seasons well into 2016 and beyond.”

Game Preview on Xbox One will be available on the Xbox Store in a dedicated Game Preview section, starting Monday, June 15th, at 5:30PM PST. The Long Dark will be available for immediate purchase and download.

As the game has now become available through the service, it will now paint a particular portrait for the Game Preview service. For now, I’m wondering about the Xbox’s choices. I feel like when a company chooses to reach both back in time (backwards compatibility) as well as forwards (innovative indie game choices), they lose out on ideas that would normally keep them anchored in the present. I would comment further on how I think The Long Dark will perform, but because of how well the game is doing on Steam I can only assume (and hope) it’ll find similar success through its new partnership.

the long dark



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