Don’t Starve: Console Edition’s appearance on PS Plus this month pushed the game far beyond the one million players mark, says developer Klei. The studio hopes that the game’s appearance on PS4 as a free download will encourage greater sales of the forthcoming DLC, Reign Of Giants, and it will also explore the possibility of bringing the game to additional platforms once work on the add-on is finished.
“Well before the end of 2013 we had over one million Don’t Starve players,” Klei’s Corey Rollins tells us. “With PlayStation Plus, beyond promotion of being a featured game, a lot of people who maybe wouldn’t have tried our game did [try it] and really enjoyed it. Some of those people went on to check out the PC version as well, and would maybe be interested in the upcoming DLC.”
The PS Plus release has proved to be a smart move for a studio which was once saved from starvation itself when it released Mark Of The Ninja; after the release of Don’t Starve on PC and with an additional boost in interest from the PlayStation version, Klei can look to the future with greater confidence than ever before, Rollins says.
“We’re investigating a proper Vita version [of Don’t Starve] at the moment, but we’re not quite sure yet. Currently, a lot of people play Don’t Starve: Console Edition using the PS4’s remote play, and really enjoy it. So we’re looking into a proper Vita release. As for iOS and mobile, that is something we’ve also been investigating and we think might work, but it’s not at the front of our development priorities right now. It’s still on our radar, though.”
Beyond DLC, though, Klei’s philosophy is to explore new ideas rather than revisit old ground. Despite its success, it is unlikely there’ll be a sequel to Don’t Starve, and neither will there be a follow-up to any of its other games.
“To be honest, we really like doing new things,” Rollins continues. “We like to explore new things and challenge ourselves. We’ve done everything from puzzle games, to 2D brawlers, to stealth, and now survival with Don’t Starve. We feel pretty strongly about not doing sequels unless you have something really new to bring to table. It’s definitely a possibility, but we’ll need to take some time to think about the best way to revisit [Don’t Starve] if we do.”
Klei’s habit of taking on a new genre with each project will continue with its next game, an isometric turn-based strategy title Invisible, Inc. Formerly known as Incognita, its grid-based strategy, permadeath and procedurally generated skulking grounds draw some inspiration from Syndicate and XCOM, and retains Klei’s eye for dashing aesthetics, this time taking its cues from ‘50s and ‘60s spy fiction. The game’s up for pre-order already, and those who do so gain instant access to the alpha as well an extra copy to gift to friends.
“We have the core mechanic of turn-based espionage, but the major features and content of the game are still being implemented,” says Klei on the game’s official site. “We expect the game to change significantly as we test and release new updates, and as much as we try to keep them out, we’re expecting bugs along the way.”