Video game publisher Krafton released a report that seemed to imply underwater survival sim Subnautica 2 would be a multiplayer-focused live-service game, which disappointed and frustrated many fans. But now the devs have quickly clarified that no, this isn’t the case and instead the game is going to just receive regular updates during early access, like the original Subnautica.
Over the last year or so “live service” has become a nasty term, one which gamers seem more and more disgusted by, even if it seems a lot of studios and publishers are betting the farm on these so-called “forever” games being the future. So it’s not surprising that some people panicked when it appeared that Subnautica 2—a sequel to the popular, single-player story-driven underwater survival game from 2018—looked to be another live-service thing.
As reported by IGN, a February 8 financial report from Krafton caught the attention of folks when it mentioned that the upcoming Subnautica 2 was being designed using the “Games as a Service” model. Folks quickly assumed the worst: that this was a live-service game that would feature battle passes and seasons and all that stuff. It didn’t help that the report also claimed the sequel was going to be multiplayer-focused, a big departure from the first game. Quickly, people got out their pitchforks and began yelling that yet another franchise was being ruined by live-service shenanigans. But thankfully for those concerned players, that’s not the case.
Subnautica 2 devs set the record straight
Shortly after the report went public and news spread of Subnautica 2 being a live-service game, the developers—Unknown Worlds—stepped in and clarified in a blog post that it isn’t that kind of game.
“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,” explained the devs. “Think our Early Access update model, expanded. No season passes. No battle passes. No subscription.”
The studio also claimed the game isn’t “multiplayer-focused.” Instead, co-op is “optional” and folks will be able to experience the full game by themselves.
Finally, the devs also explained that Subnautica 2’s early access launch isn’t planned for 2024 and that they will share more info “later this year.”
“Thanks for keeping an eye out for any news about our progress on the next game,” the devs 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.”
While it might seem like a lot of folks overreacted, the reality is that with reports of so many live-service games in development and after so many have failed to stick around or turn out well, a lot of gamers are jumpy about games-as-a-service and live-service “forever” games.
I expect—in an effort to avoid these situations—we will see some studios try to come up with a new term for games that just get occasional updates and patches, but which have no other “live” elements, like battle passes or seasons. For now, you can all relax. Subnautica 2 isn’t going to be a live-service thing like Suicide Squad.