May 09th 2017

The Long Dark Countdown Letdown

Hinterland, the developer behind The Long Dark may have made a mistake in their marketing strategy. Without explaining anything to their fan base, they put up a countdown clock on their website. When that clock reached zero was it a the big sandbox update, or story mode? No, it turned out that when the clock hit zero it was just another countdown to an even later date. 

In early April Hinterland put up a countdown clock on their website, and gave no explanation for it. Speculation spread like wildfire as the clock got closer and closer to the reveal. Especially because The Long Dark went on sale on Steam along with saying it was "the last time to buy The Long Dark at Early Access pricing." So fans were practically blowing up when the countdown reached zero on May 4th 6pm BST. 

Instead of anything fans were expecting, Hinterland revealed this, that August 1st was going to be the big day for the launch of the first two episodes of story mode. They also announced that the game was going to be coming to Playstation 4. In this devlog, Raphael explained that a lot of the reason for the countdown was to build attention for the game in order to promote it on PS4.

"I know that the PS4 announcement might not seem important if you’re already playing THE LONG DARK on Steam or Xbox One," explained Raphael, "but I hope you can see how for us, it’s a really monumental step in expanding the reach of this world’s fiction and gameplay foundation we’re building, so that we can continue to build THE LONG DARK into the experience we dream for it to be."

This explanation was not enough to pacify a lot of fans of the game, who felt betrayed at this tactic of a sort of bait and switch. They've taken their anger to various social media platforms in different ways. Some have outright complained to the company, some people have changed their steam reviews of the game from positive to negative, others have said they're really excited but disappointed about the countdown clock, and so on. 

So, Hinterland set up a mysterious countdown clock to create a lot of buzz to announce that they were going to finish something in a few months, and try to draw in a new audience. I'm sure it's understandable why a devoted fan base would feel jilted. Well, the trailer from the announcement is embedded below if you want to see what all the hype was about yourself.