Developer, Bulkhead Interactive has an updated timeline for their WW2 multiplayer-shooter, Battalion 1944. Funded on Kickstarter for £317,281 the game is quickly coming up on it’s planned 2017 completion date.
Beginning in May, the team plans to move into the Alpha testing phase. Initially, players will have a chance to participate in “playtest weekends.” This will allow the dev team to test specific features and make corrections throughout the week. During week-long server downtime, Alpha backers would still be able to play Battalion 1944 in Offline mode.
The game’s beta will release around July. This phase will focus primarily on matchmaking and competitive aspects of gameplay. Once the majority of the game’s base features are deemed complete, Battalion 1944 will spend a few months as Steam Early Access title before an official launch.
The Price Of Freedom & Fancy Item Skins
Bulkhead acknowledged fan’s concerns about the high price tag attached to the project. Fearing the price would make the game inaccessible to a wider audience, Bulkhead has promised to lower the price by incorporating cosmetic micro transactions.
“Multiplayer games live and die on their player bases, especially FPS games. We want to make sure Battalion is available to as many gamers as possible from a financial standpoint and a technical view.”
Currently, when a player “levels up” they are able to call in an air package from the main menu. This package will deliver 2-4 visual customization items of varying rarity to collect. The modifcations are purely visual and would not interfere with gameplay.
The new idea would be to allow players to pay for additional drops. Bulkhead was adamant that drops (free or paid) would not contain gameplay changing items. The money raised would go towards continued server and game expenses.
Naturally, any talk of micro transactions will put some gamers on edge. Bulkhead has set up a forum thread where fans can give feedback and suggestions on the proposed plan. Thus far the conversation has been surprisingly civil.
Battalion 1944 seems to be making great progress. Hopefully, the momentum will continue into the new year.