PAX East 2019: Dauntless talks launching, version 1.0, and the Epic Store

    
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Finding a handful of daunts.

The fine folks at Phoenix Labs aren’t bringing Dauntless to Steam; instead, they’re heading to the Epic Store as planned. We can all speculate about lots of back-and-forth potential reasons why, but I was fortunate enough to get a few moments to discuss the decision with the development staff at this past weekend’s PAX East. And the rationale comes down to a very simple principle, one inherited from Fortnite without being limited to it. To wit: Phoenix Labs wants that crossplay.

Not just a little crossplay, either. Epic Games has clearly managed to make the cross-play principle work for its biggest online title, and Dauntless is aiming to provide the same experience by giving you both cross-platform play and access. You can sit downstairs on your PlayStation 4, play for a while, then turn off the console, head upstairs to your PC, and pick up right where you left off without a problem. That’s something that Epic already has in place, and it makes the choice of storefronts and associated partnership a no-brainer.

The console launch is also planned to serve as the game’s launch, but at the same time not the sort of launch that rolls over into version 1.0. While the team definitely feels that the game is pushing at the boundaries of that big whole number, the assumption is that it’s possible for the game to reach the launch state without hitting 1.0 and being wholly complete. Call it a soft launch, if you’d prefer.

Daunt-nab it!

Of course, more platforms also means jutting up against Monster Hunter World, but the staff isn’t actually bothered by that comparison. Most of the people on the team, unsurprisingly, are fans of the Monster Hunter franchise. The Monster Hunter World team seems to be fond of Dauntless. If anything, there’s a sense that the visibility of each title helps the other one, and it pushes both of them to do their own thing.

And it’s not just a matter of both titles being identical save for the backdrop. The team views Monster Hunter World as a more single-player title with online options, while Dauntless is closer to the inverse; as a result, upticks in interest in Capcom’s title often seem to produce upticks of interest in Dauntless as well. Both games are carving out their own niche.

It’s even possible that there could be some sort of crossover event between the titles, although nothing is even close to being planned thus far. As the game approaches that fabled launch date, the focus is on polishing up systems and improving gameplay in advance of the launch. From there on out, however, the studio plans to keep up communication with the players and find out both what the fans want and what’s a viable path forward to make for a better experience. It turns out that there’s a lot of life in the game, the genre, and the community.

We’d like to thank the team on the show floor for taking the time to answer some questions and share insights about the game.

Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Boston for PAX East 2019, bringing you expert MMO coverage on everything (and everyone!) on display at the latest Penny Arcade Expo!
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Diego Lindenmeyer

rip Dauntless. Game already had low pop before and now with this shit….(another Paragon)

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overbyte

So many people not playing games because of the epic game store excusivity but I find it all a bit silly. You know steam is the “Valve Game Store”, right? How many “exclusive” titles have they got? It’s just silly gamers cutting their noses off to spite their faces.

The reason that the egs is getting so many exclusives at the moment is because of the extremely fair approach to developers that they’ve taken by letting devs keep much larger chunks of their revenues for their creations. And epic are waiving any unreal engine costs for using them.

All this means more games for you. Stop whining just because it’s not in steam. Valve has had a stranglehold on the industry for way too long.

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BalsBigBrother

It good the devs are getting a better deal because as a consumer I am being screwed. I have to give up legal rights just to use the store because they can’t be bothered to comply with legislation designed to protect my information. I do not trust them enough to actually give them my payment information if they cannot do that.

In addition I am am not whining because games are not on steam I am whining because EGS are gate keeping rather than competing on the open market.

As an exercise name me a AAA game available on steam that I cannot also buy on the humble store, green man gaming, amazon or any number of other of the stores available on the open market. Yeah I have to use steam to play them but my choice of where to buy them is not limited to steam as is the case with exclusive games on EGS. (though I hear that the humble store may be an option soon which is a start but still woefully short of actually competing)

So please do not make assumptions as to motivations and calling folks silly when there are some legitimate reasons for people as consumers to be disgruntled with what EGS is doing.

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rafael12104

The more the merrier. Competition is to our benefit. All stores are welcome and so are the incentives to use one over an other from a dev and customer perspective.

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Jeremy Barnes

epic exclusive = no thanks

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Ironwu

EGS exclusive? That is an automatic pass over from me. I refuse to reward companies for doing this sort of BS.

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Chris Neal

I’m personally delighted to learn that there’s room for both Dauntless and MHW. I’ve found the ease of multiplayer in Dauntless and its overall style more engaging to me, but I also respect that MonHun fans are their own unique breed. Here’s to more awesome stuff from both games.

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rafael12104

Same here. Based on your stream, Chris, I gave Dauntless a try. It was good fun. It is sort of like Fortnite mixed with MHW. And I mean that as a compliment. A simple and quick jump right into killing big ass mobs. Heh.

I’m looking forward to the release.