This year may be one game blockbuster richer. The open beta of the cooperative shooter The Finals attracted an audience of 267 thousand people on Steam. This is almost four times more than I was able to collect at the peak on the Overwatch 2 platform.
The launch was so successful that the team had to hastily increase the capacity of the servers. Today, the game is in the top 5 games with the largest number of players, inferior, but, apparently, already competing with such colossi as Apex Legends and PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS.
The novelty is the debut of the Swedish studio Embark Studios, which was launched in 2018 by former DICE top managers. Among the founders is Patrick Soderlund, who previously headed DICE and EA, and was responsible for the development of the Battlefield series.
Therefore, it is not surprising that journalists and streamers who have managed to get acquainted with The Finals, in their reviews and opinions, talking about their feelings about the gameplay, regularly recall the old parts of Battlefield.
The game is a cooperative arena shooter in which several teams of three participants each compete for dominance on a particular map. Dominance is to collect as much gold as possible, bring it to the ATM, and then, while it is put on the account, guard the point from other teams. The team with the highest score wins.
But the key feature of the novelty is not non—standard victory conditions, but complete destructibility. In The Finals, players can demolish whole pieces of the map if they wish. The Unreal Engine 5 engine adapted by Embark Studios allows this.
However, this feature, as well as the chosen tools, could at some point become a problem for the game. Closed beta tests of The Finals were held in spring and summer. Their participants complained about both very low productivity and unsuccessful movement.
By the launch of the open beta, the developers managed to eliminate the most significant problems. Now the influencers in their videos focus on the excellent quality of the project, its polish.
Despite the success and high level of readiness of the project, its exact release date is still unknown. So it may turn out that the game will be released not this year, but next year.
Simultaneously with The Finals, the development of Arc Raiders, a third-person shooter in the spirit of Hunt: Showdown and Escape From Tarkov, is also nearing completion at Embark Studios. Both projects will be distributed according to the fritupley model.
Nexon is responsible for the distribution of both titles, which in 2019 acquired control of Embark Studios for $96 million. At the same time, a year before that, the Korean corporation invested $ 41 million in the studio.