Remedy Entertainment’s Project Vanguard, initially revealed as a free-to-play multiplayer game, is being rebooted due to market uncertainties, and concerns about its future success. Now codenamed “Kestrel” the game will be a premium title with “a strong, co-operative multiplayer component.”
Per details from Remedy, the decision was made jointly by the company and the game’s publisher, Tencent, after a deep evaluation of the project.
“Due to uncertainties in creating a successful game to the rapidly changing free-to-play market and associated risks, the parties have discussed a new direction for the game project, which will be given the new codename Kestrel,” Remedy announced.
The game will now return to the concept phase, with leadership and other members of the game’s development team focussing on a “new direction” to future-proof the project.
“We have made some great strides in free-to-play and multiplayer development in Vanguard,” Tero Virtala, Remedy CEO said. “After a lot of careful consideration, we believe that taking on a new direction where the game will be built more around Remedy’s core competencies is the right way to go. We are creating another distinct Remedy game with Tencent’s continued support in making a great cooperative multiplayer experience.”
The decision to move away from a free-to-play model comes at an interesting time for the games industry. Recently, Sony announced it would push back half of its planned live service games to contend with changed economic conditions. A number of free-to-play games have struggled to maintain audiences over the last year for this reason, with titles including Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier, Knockout City, CrossfireX, Apex Legends Mobile, Rumbleverse, Gundam Evolution, Evil Dead: The Game, and Call of Duty: Warzone Caldera forced to shut.
As wallets get lighter and player budgets get tighter, the popularity of free-to-play games – which are sustained by digital microtransactions – is waning. It’s likely Remedy Entertainment is looking to avoid this fate with the launch of the rebooted Project Vanguard, aka Kestrel. We’ll learn more about this game in future, as work continues.