Hinterland has confirmed now that the future of the The Long Dark will have the Story and Survival modes completely separate, along with paid expansions for the Survival mode. This news shouldn't be a shock to regular players, or our readers, since we covered their initial thoughts on it in a previous article where they announced the plans.
Now things are more set in stone, as detailed in a new developer diary.
The game will be split in two, and all existing owners on all platforms will have full access to what they had already. So no one will actually be losing out on anything. Right now, they're already at a point where Survival mode will run standalone, so they can update it independently. Soon they will have the Story mode doing the same. Part of the point is that, they say, it streamlines the process and makes it easier to update both, while having Survival updates not impact the story with the opposite also being true.
So what we will see in future is a separate release, with Survival getting a series of paid DLC expansions. These will take the form of a sort-of season pass to get everything, and then going out as DLC once the season is finished for anyone who prefers to buy it that way. Free updates will also continue but be smaller.
It does sound reasonable, especially considering how many years they've continued to provide big free upgrades for everyone.
On top of that, there's going to be a Leadership change. Raphael van Lierop will be standing down, with studio veteran Katie Sorrell taking over. Lierop will still be the overall creative head at Hinterland though, and has written the final part of story too.