Mid-way through development Fatshark reportedly ‘ripped it out and started over’, and it shows. It is becoming alarmingly clear that the change of direction was likely due to an attempt to increase the monetization the game and develop it around a GaaS (game-as-a-service) model; albeit a badly implemented one.
I wonder what the originally planned game was like before the suits got their grubby hands on it to make it their personal cash cow.
I’ve worked a little on creative projects, and they can turn into mini-civil wars.
One time, when I was in school, my class was suppose to work with another. They would do concept and we would to application. The concept they gave us was generic and bad. There was a lot of distant back and fourth and I went down the hall to see what was up, because a better concept would be better for everyone.
What I found out was the concept we got wasn’t one anyone loved, it was the one no one hated.
This game has a lot of nerfs on ranged, (speed bump getting guns out, no dodge with guns, lasers with reverse falloff) but also has regenerating grenades and vet, a ranged class, is considered especially well set up.
So with these nerfs, you might think you’re meant to do more melee, but w40k melee is handicapped by weird ‘on switches’ instead of being the default weapons, so the ‘not that special’ hatchets and knives that would fit in vermintide are still viable.
These are the shadows cast by internal conflicts and a lack of a strong direction by leadership.
Yup. Same thing happend to for example Cyberpunk 2077. At first it was supposed to be full RPG, when your choices matters and push you on different paths working for different “sides”. Silverhand was supposed to be only one of many backgrounds with starting path mattering a lot. Then project was changed once Reaves was on to make it more like GTA with linear plot to force more Reaves into game for better marketing. Obviously with dialog recording of him the tons of different paths were no longer possible. Then they wanted to make multiplayer too becasue monetization. Then few times direction was changed going from RPG ideas to single player story, scrapping tons of work for months beasue they couldn’t decide. Suddenly game on Steam went from “RPG” category to “Action Adventure”. You can see first 2 main story missions have branches in CP77 like full RPG and video intro with your adventures with Jackie were fragments of what was supposed to be main plot, then suddenly after that it’s linear short story (compare to average 30h RPG main story) about Silverhand more than about you, without any more choices that really matter. So in the end they didn’t have time to polish either open world, or make it RPG. So they scrapped what they had into what was released (same as probably Darktide). What we ended up with is neither GTA like linear/open world experience, nor RPG, not even good FPS, neither any multiplayer and game failed hard.
Anthem was simillar. The point is: good games have strong direction of what it’s suppose to be from start with finish, with some adjustments. Bad management/leadership leads to changing whole design of game few times during development, resulting in game being unfinished mess that is neither what it wanted to be at start, what it shift into in the middle, and not what it was supposed to be scrapped together at the end.
BF2042 also failed as in the middle they wanted to suddenly catter to COD and Fortnite demographic with cringe Specialists. In the end game was for noone and lost it’s niche that neither CoD etc. had.
We see it waaaaay too much nowadays in gaming development. The radical shifts in concept design, scratching years of work/designs/decisions/assets becasue some idiot suddenly thought he has better vision and it’s good to force it in middle of development cycle.