Greetings! With Star Control: Origins out and having already sold nearly 50,000 copies after only a week of availability we are now ready to talk about...THE FUTURE.
We will be making an official announcement after version 1.1 (the big modding release) is available but we didn't want fans, especially those who are starting to finish the Origins adventure, to have to wait to know what's next.
Needless to say, we've gone back and forth on the best way to deliver new stories, quests and features to players in a way that fits in. Now, keep in mind, the base game will continue to be updated and improved for free. But obviously, new adventures and content are a different thing. So what's the best way?
We looked at 4 options. I'll list the 3 we rejected and why.
Option 1: Traditional expansion. This is what we've done with our other games. You make a single big expansion and release it. Fans tend to like these in our strategy games. However, the problem here is that this would mean waiting a year to continue the story in any meaningful way.
Option 2: DLCs. DLCs make sense in many ways but they have a lot of issues too. Many players will say that they feel "nickeled and dimed" when they see lots of little DLCs. We ran into this with Galactic Civilizations III where we'd just release a few DLCs per year. That sounds reasonable right? But after 3 years, there's now 12 of them and people get upset seeing all those DLCs.
Option 3: In-Game transactions. Believe it or not, a lot of people do like these. However, I personally don't like this.
So what's left? We look around at other adventure/rpg games and a Season Pass works the best. I won't get into too many details but the plan is to release 6 mini-expansions for $19.99. The micro-expansions will be released one at a time and they will add new missions, new characters, ships, stars, map areas, features, etc.
I wouldn't call these mini-expansions "episodes" because much of the content doesn't require that you have completed the Origins mission (plenty of it does follow the end of the Origins mission).
The first mini expansion would be made available in November and they'd continue on a set schedule with all of them and a general (non-spoilery) list of features that each one will bring.
When the first micro-expansion is installed, if you have finished the Origins story, the next stage in our multi-year story arc will continue. So after the "credits roll" you get a new cut scene that introduces you to the new state of the universe. On the other hand, if you have not finished the story or for those who have never played the game, they'll just see the galaxy a little more filled out. New side-quests, just a bit more "stuff" to bring the universe alive.
What will effectively happen is that players will have more and more paths to choose from in deciding how best to help Earth and have a richer, deeper universe to play in.
Please let us know your thoughts.