@JoshingtonState and @ModularMareBear here! It’s been a while since we’ve written one of these, so we just want to start by saying that we’re massively grateful to everyone in the community for your continued passion and excitement for everything the team here at Midwinter is working on. We all feel very heartened to have such a fantastic community behind us all the way.
Now, as we get closer to the end of the year, we wanted to give an update on a number of different things that we have going on here at Midwinter. We know that you’re all very eager for news on consoles, new features and the upcoming full release, so we wanted to address what the coming months looks like and where we’ll be focusing our efforts to the benefit of improving the Scavengers experience for everyone.
The first thing - to get it out of the way - is that we are no longer targeting general availability for Scavengers on PC in 2021. That means that we will be remaining in Early Access through the rest of 2021 and into the new year.
There are a number of decisions behind the shift but it ultimately comes down to our commitment to quality. We’re a small development team, and it’s important to us that we do not compromise when it comes to the player experience. We’ve always stated that Early Access is (and continues to be) an extension of our previous testing cycles. As we reflect on the journey to date, we all feel that the transition to full release needs to be a meaningful advancement from where we are today. Which leads to the question...
Over the coming months, we are going to do everything we can to raise the bar when it comes to Scavengers. To do that, we’ve had to be honest with ourselves with how we approach development and support the title as it stands today.
To be frank, there are going to be fewer updates as the team focuses on what we feel will be exciting and momentous updates to the game that will take shape in early 2022.
What does this look like?
The future of Expedition mode: We’re making big changes to the core mode in Scavengers, and that’s why we need to focus our attention on getting it just right. What we can tell you right now is that we’re striving to make matches feel less repetitive, and give you a more dynamic experience every time you hit the snow. We’ll be revealing more details about this in the weeks ahead.
At the end of the month, we will be turning off Horde Mode. We know that this will be disappointing for some players, and it is not a decision we take lightly (and it may return at some point in the future). However, we have seen a steady decline in player numbers for the mode over recent months, which made it less viable to support it going forward. This extra team bandwidth will be put towards enhancing the game's core experience.
There will be fewer ScavLab events in the future. We have been working closely with Improbable’s London studio on ScavLab over the past several months. However, going forward, Midwinter will focus exclusively on Scavengers, while the London team takes full control of all ScavLab events. Stay tuned for news from them on future events.
Console alpha testing will continue in the weeks ahead. We’ll also be releasing more keys as we look to increase the volume of user feedback and make improvements to the experience.
We will be reducing the number of feature updates in the coming months, as all of our team focus their energies on this next phase of the game. The Winter’s Fury season will continue to play out, and there will be intermittent patches and hot fixes, but there will be a drop in frequency of new features.
There’s still exciting things to look forward to though. In the coming months we will introduce our next Explorer, as well as welcoming the arrival of our new fearsome boss encounter, Bulwark, who’ll be out for blood when he hits the icy climes of Cascade Springs.
This also impacts how we will be interacting with you - our players and our community. Don’t panic! We’re not going anywhere. Instead, we want to streamline our communication, make it more impactful and not be in a position where we’re over-promising or setting the wrong expectations.
We’re going to try some new ways for you to directly engage with us, which we feel will be more rewarding for both us as a studio and you as our community. There will be less focus on communications around the minutiae of our work. Instead, we’ll be rolling out activities and events that’ll give us more opportunities to come together in fun and interesting ways, including:
More direct feedback and engagement through Game Nights (playing Scavengers with us), more ‘Dunk the Dev’ sessions, Discord Stage events (where you’ll get a chance to talk directly to us) and hopefully, future livestreams and AMAs. Keep an eye out for these in the coming weeks!
We will be reducing the frequency of our Dev Focus updates, while we hunker down to focus on the core game. New posts will arrive when we’re able to provide you with more comprehensive and exciting updates on what the team have been working on and upcoming plans.
Look forward to Seasonal Festivities! We’ve got a festive period coming up and we’d like to celebrate them with you. Keep an eye out for fun, seasonal activities and content soon.
If you have any questions on the above then make sure to jump into our Discord where we’ll answer them as best we can.
We understand that there may be some disappointment in response to today’s update. These are some big changes, but we strongly believe that they are changes for the better. Once again, everyone here at Midwinter appreciates your dedication, support and patience as we continue this journey, and we look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming weeks and months. Until then...
Josh, Mary & the Midwinter Team