A financial report from Subnautica 2 publisher Krafton said the underwater survival sequel would adopt a “game-as-a-service model”. Cue much gnashing of teeth and rending of shirts, so much so that developers Unknown Worlds have clarified what that means. “No season passes. No battle passes. No subscription.”
“A few of you noticed some information shared online by our publisher, Krafton”, the Subnautica team shared via the site’s blog. They went on to clarify that the game would release in Early Access sometime during 2024.
“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.”
Likewise, they clarified that the game is “not multiplayer focused”. Co-op will be an “entirely optional way to play the game”, with singleplayer available as it was in the original.
Early access in 2024 is earlier than expected. Late last year, a similar financial report from Krafton suggested that “the next Subnautica” would arrive in the first half of 2025.
Financial reports are, of course, designed for shareholders and not for the gaming public. Shareholders know that “games-as-a-service” games make a lot of money, and is probably a term they’re more likely to understand and be excited by versus “Early Access but with patches.”
In any case, I’m glad Subnautica – one of the best survival games ever made – will not lose itself towards some progression-pilled metaversal nightmare factory of engagement doozits. Although I admit I’m quite curious to see whatever fish-based battle pass they might have devised.