11-Bit Studios, the creator of This War of Mine and Frostpunk, recently spoke with SegmentNext to discuss the success of This War of Mine, Frostpunk, and its currently under development game codenamed Project 8.
SegmentNext: After the success of This War of Mine, many were expecting a sequel. But you choose to work on a different project. Wasn’t that a little risky? Why not build on the success of This War of Mine?
11-Bit Studios: This War of Mine is a once-in-a-lifetime game in the sense of creating an emotional rollercoaster and a very serious game at the same time. We are still expanding the game with creating new content, now specifically we’re talking about two new stories being part of This War of Mine Stories, a season DLC that has been started last year with “Father’s Promise”. I can’t imagine something like This War of Mine 2.
Instead, we wanted to experiment further with gameplay being designed around moral choices, between good and evil in an area that is eventually morally gray and in Frostpunk this experiment is done on a way bigger scale comparing to This War of Mine. Every project is risky, but since This War of Mine was a very successful one, it was not that hard to communicate about the new game.
SegmentNext: 250,000+ copies sold already on PC, are you expecting the same level of success on consoles?
11-Bit Studios: We’ll see. We have to redesign the interface for sure to make it intuitive and superfluently playable on gamepads. We need to achieve the same level of experiencing the game. That’s the most important thing.
SegmentNext: Speaking of consoles, we haven’t heard anything about a Switch version? No plans for it?
11-Bit Studios: I’m not sure at this point if game’s heavy logic and demanding graphics can be handled by Switch’s guts. We’d love to make it but first, we have to check if it makes sense at all.
SegmentNext: Let’s talk DLC, This War of Mine’s Little Ones was amazing. Do you guys plan to build on Frostpunk with post-release content? Will it be free?
11-Bit Studios: Sure we want to expand the universe of Frostpunk and already planning to create more modes and scenarios. Surely there will be free expansions but I don’t exclude paid DLCs.
SegmentNext: What are your future plans? Do you plan to keep developing in the same genre or is diversification something you may consider with future games?
11-Bit Studios: The philosophy of creation at 11-bit studios can be underlined in „Make your mark” sentence. That’s what we’d like to give players with each game – something special, a mark. Be it story, be it emotional rollercoaster or outstanding gameplay loop. And our next project, called „Project 8” under working title, is something completely different to This War of Mine and to Frostpunk but I strongly believe it is an extraordinary experience. Still, there’s a ton of work to be done before I can unveil any further details.
SegmentNext: When you released This War of Mine, did you expect the level of critical acclaim and community support it managed to get?
11-Bit Studios: We knew that the game was made with great efforts and very polished, but honestly, I did not expect that big success and that wonderful support from the community. When you make a war game that is eventually about victims and suffering, it is risky but then the community of gamers from all around the world helped us a lot with great feedback, with spreading the word, with ideas for more content, with modding support. The community support was awesome and it made the game what it is now.
SegmentNext: How much did This War of Mine’s success defined what kind of game Frostpunk would be?
11-Bit Studios: The game defined our philosophy of creation and thanks to big commercial success we were able to increase the size of the team and add big production value to Frostpunk, so surely This War of Mine has had a big influence on us and on Frostpunk.
SegmentNext: What’s the break-even point for Frostpunk? How many copies do you need to sell in order to generate a profit number your team is happy with?
11-Bit Studios: Those 250k copies were surely enough to cover marketing and development costs. Now we can invest into expansions, including free ones of course.
SegmentNext: Should we expect to see you at E3?
11-Bit Studios: We don’t plan to be at E3. The next big thing for us is the release of Moonlighter game planned for May 29th for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Keep fingers crossed!