Two weeks ago, Swedish developer Fatshark released their Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide on Steam. No doubt the giant Warhammer IP has helped spike the interest, but the game hit off instantly and has already sold over 300.000 copies.
Fatshark has previously worked with big IPs such as Dead Island, but Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide was a bigger project than any other the Swedish studio have ever worked on, and a few things were done differently in the making of the game in the hope that it would become a best-seller game.
“First of all we were self-funded and also self-published the game. This meant we were in 100% control of both the development of the game and the publishing part of the game. There are of course both benefits and drawbacks with self-publishing a game. The largest benefit is that we could control our release date. In other words we could release the game when we felt it was the best timing both from a marketing but mainly from a development point of view.”, says CEO of Fatshark, Martin Wahlund.
“Self-publishing the game also meant that we were in control of the vision, nothing was lost in translation between different companies, no compromises. The drawback was of course the lack of external control”, Wahlund continues.
One obviously wants a project of this size and with a respected brand such as the Warhammer IP, to be as good as possible. Wahlund and Fatshark therefore also quickly decided not to compromise on anything to make this the best game possible. And it seemingly worked, as the game is already boasting a 9/10 rating on Steam.
“We decided that the main focus was to just focus on doing a great co-op game. This sounds obvious but it made it easy to make choices such as to push the console versions in order to focus on the PC version to make it the best possible. This also led to that we always asked ourselves, is this really a feature that strengthen co-op? We also decided not to bring in any partner along the way as we knew it would lead to compromises”, says Wahlund.
“The main thing is to have a great game and to make sure people know exactly what the game is about nothing more or nothing less. It is very important to manage expectations. If people think it is something else than it is, you will get bad reviews.”
Bigger than any other project they’ve ever done, there has not been much time for anything else but the Warhammer game for the Swedish developer, and that has influenced the way they’ve worked during the development time.
“It is way larger than any other project we have built. The main influence has been that when we have completed projects we have moved on the personnel to Vermintide. We have not started any projects for the last year as our focus has only been on Vermintide.”
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is currently the only thing in Fatshark’s heads. And as for the future, it seems like there’ll be a lot of Warhammer for the Swedes in the foreseeable future.
“Right now we are 100% focused on Vermintide. We are going to keep working with the game and make updates and add content. We will also work with the console versions so they will be the best possible experience for console gamers. We actually haven’t planned anything yet as we see Vermintide as the future as well”, Wahlund concludes.
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