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Subnautica 2 studio responds to publisher claims sequel is a multiplayer live-service game

Subnautica 2 developer Unknown Worlds has moved to address fan concerns following publisher Krafton’s announcement that the underwater survival sequel will be a multiplayer title adopting a “game-as-a-service model”.

Krafton made the claims in its latest financial earnings report, which also brought the news Subnautica 2 – the third game in Unknown Worlds’ series, following on from the acclaimed 2018 original and its 2021 continuation Subnautica: Below Zero – would be out this year. And with fans beginning to express displeasure at the apparent swerve away from the solo, self-contained survival action of previous Subnautica games, Unknown Worlds quickly sprung into action, offering clarification on its blog.

Starting with the multiplayer announcement, that much is apparently true, with Subnautica 2 confirmed to be playable co-operatively with up to four players. However, Unknown Worlds stresses the sequel “is not multiplayer-focused”, and that co-op is “entirely optional”, with players also able to play the game entirely solo if they choose.

Subnautica: Below Zero Gameplay Trailer

Subnautica: Below Zero left early access in 2021.

As for the alarm bells Krafton’s “games-as-a-service” claim set ringing, Unknown Worlds insists there’s no reason to panic, saying, “We simply plan to continually update the game for many years to come… Think our Early Access update model, expanded.” That, it continues, means, “No season passes. No battle passes. No subscription”. As for microtransactions? It doesn’t say.

Which, lastly, brings us to Krafton’s announcement Subnautica 2 will be out this year – which the studio says isn’t true. “Early Access is not intended for release in 2024,” Unknown Worlds explains, “but we plan to share a lot more information later this year”. “Thanks for keeping an eye out for any news about our progress on the next game,” it added. “We’re so excited to show you what we’ve been working on and hope that you love it as much as we do.”

Unknown Worlds – which was acquired by PUBG company Krafton in 2021 – currently has two confirmed projects in the works: Subnautica 2 and tabletop-inspired tactical battler Moonbreaker, which got its 1.0 update at the start of February following four months of Steam early access. That game was originally supposed to feature loot boxes, a battle pass, virtual currency, and a premium in-game shop, but Unknown Worlds walked back on those plans in October 2023 after “reading and evaluating” player feedback – a welcome reversal, given Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese had some nice things to say about Moonbreaker outside of its monetisation when he played it last year.

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