Do you hate Steam? Do you hate Digital Rights Management, or DRM as it’s more commonly referred to? Did you back The Long Dark? Are you tired of all these pointless questions which you already know what they’re leading up to? Well, good news!
Developer Hinterland Games posted an update recently that announced they were working on a DRM free version of the game. Oddly, you have to email the developers in order to get a copy, it’s not available on GOG or anything like that, at least not yet.
The update is one of a string that Hinterland has been posting lately on The Long Dark’s Kickstarter page, even if backer only. We previously took issue with The Long Dark’s lack of Kickstarter updates, not loving that many of the updates were posted to other sites. Much like with Omori, it’s not a terrible shame that updates were being posted elsewhere, but it would have been nice for backers to have been kept in the loop without having to jump between several different sites.
Personally, I’d be more disappointed in the game’s story mode, or lack thereof. Originally hyped up as the central conceit of the game by the developers, their focus instead shifted to the open-world survival sandbox of the Early Access alpha. It was only in December 2015 that the developers debuted a trailer for the story campaign, complete with ridiculous clowned faced characters and a vague “Spring 2016” release date.
No mention had been made of the story mode in between the end of the campaign and the reveal trailer. I can’t help but feel if I backed the game for the story mode and didn’t care about the aimless open world, I’d be disappointed by the two year wait.
Still, Hinterland has been doing a better job interacting with backers on Kickstarter in recent months. As well as the story reveal and the DRM-free version, they’re also giving the appropriate backers a second Steam key for free. And The Long Dark has been the model for how to handle an Early Access game, starting off with an already amazing base game, and adding new features and enhancing already existing ones. When you look at it that way, it’s hard to stay mad at Hinterland.