Turtle Rock Studios is working on new game, and they are focused on what made them successful in the first place. “We’re focusing on what we do best – heart-pounding moment-to-moment online co-op FPS action,” the developer told GamesIndustry International.
Co-op is the devs bread and butter. The Left 4 Dead franchise sold north of 12 million copies. Turtle Rock Studios tried their hand at asymmetrical multiplayer, but it didn’t quite work out the way the intended. A universally panned microtransaction system hampered Evolve from the get go. With their next game, Turtle Rock Studios is returning to their roots.
Details are slim on the new game. All the developer had to say about it was this:
“What we can say is that we are definitely going back to our moment-to-moment gameplay roots with a huge focus on co-op FPS. There will be plenty of baddies to shoot up, but it is not a ‘zombie game’ or anything post-apocalyptic. What we can say right now is there’s a strong dark fantasy element to it.”
Cool. Zombies and post-apocalyptic games are dime a dozen right now. A shift in setting sounds good. As long as Turtle Rock leans more towards Left 4 Dead then Evolve in the gameplay department.
For this new co-op shooter, Turtle Rock is partnering with a surprising partner – Perfect World Entertainment. Games published by Perfect World Entertainment tend to be MMOs. Blacklight: Retribution, a shooter, is the one exception that comes to mind.
“With Perfect World, we have a publisher that’s all about the service and consistently and frequently expanding the scope of its games over several years. We think that type of approach and mentality are really what’s required to launch something new as opposed to putting out sequel after sequel,” says Turtle Rock President and GM Steve Goldstein.
Goldstein also touched on how free-to-play development is a win-win for developers and players compared to $60 games.
“With a $60 product, you only know if you are going in a good or bad direction from some focus test groups and then an alpha and a beta. There’s not much room to change course if you see elements that you want to work on based on how players are actually playing your game. At best, you can only hope to make these changes sometime post-launch and at that point, you’re probably knee-deep in DLC, because that’s what a boxed product needs to make a profit these days, given the insanely escalating costs of development, marketing and publishing those products. It’s not a very limber process.”
A service-based title lets developers “react to players’ behavior instantly.”
It’s hard to argue with Goldstein here. The key is making a game that captures an audience from the get go. It’s all well and good to have an open dialogue with gamers, but you also need that initial audience to talk to.
Turtle Rock is smart to focus on their strengths – co-op gameplay. There are enough F2P with a heavy versus multiplayer focus. A co-op shooter F2P game done right can be huge.
Check out the rest of the interview for Goldstein’s thoughts on VR, eSports (lack of) for their new title, AAA game development and more.