Hey everyone, this is Michael Tsarouhas, I am the lead game designer on Insurgency: Sandstorm. I wanted to take some time to give you all an update on Sandstorm’s development, share some juicy new content, and announce our release dates. If you’d like to get up to speed on our last announcement earlier this year, please see here.
We’ll get right to it. Insurgency: Sandstorm will officially launch for Windows PC in September 2018 on Steam for $29.99. Pre-ordering will get you a 10% discount, and for those who already own Insurgency there will be an additional loyalty discount of 10%, adding up to a total of 20% off. We aren’t sharing a specific release date just yet, but will announce it in due time.
We’ll be accepting pre-orders for Insurgency: Sandstorm on Steam very soon. In addition to the discounts being offered, pre-ordering will get you access to a beta version before release. This beta will be the full game, but will likely still have some bugs and issues to be resolved. We look forward to getting our community’s help in reporting and addressing these remaining issues, as well as receiving any general feedback, as we approach release. This community feedback has always been a big part of the development process in any of our games, so we’re excited at the opportunity to have a beta like this. Details on when the beta will start will be available at a later date.
Sandstorm’s release for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has unfortunately needed to be pushed back. We’re currently planning for a console launch sometime in the first half of 2019. Our original goal was to release both console and Windows PC versions side by side in 2018, but we feel we need more time to polish the console experience. It’s important that we ensure we deliver an overall solid experience that is as bug free and stable as possible regardless of platform. Rest assured we still have every intention to expand our community to console, it’s just going to need to take a little more time. We know this may be disappointing news to some of you. We’ve been shown a lot of love (especially recently) from console players who are hankering for a kind of hardcore gameplay like the one we provide. We want our new console audience to have a great first impression, and feel strongly that the extra time will better allow us to accomplish this.
Let’s talk a little bit about our content and what’s new. We’ll be releasing in September with the following game modes: Push, Firefight, and Capture the Base for Versus, as well as Checkpoint for Coop. Operation and Outpost were mentioned in our last blog post; Outpost being a legacy mode of Insurgency and Operation being something more experimental. These won’t be included for release and will be considered for post-release content instead. We’ve found they’ll need some more attention than we originally planned, and we still need to determine if they have a place in our experience. As we mentioned in the last community update, we want to make sure every game mode is tight, unique, and fun, and that we don’t split our playerbase too much with too many. Checkpoint mode is shaping up really nicely, and has some pretty sweet improvements since Insurgency. We can’t give specifics just yet, but you’ll be seeing them soon enough.
Similar to Insurgency, we plan to support Insurgency: Sandstorm with free content updates post-release. We will continually expand the game with new weapons, upgrades, maps, and other content. Modding support is something we are committed to providing. We want to work with our modding community to give them the tools they need to create exciting new content beyond what the official experience offers. This includes Steam Workshop integration, custom map tools, game rule adjustments (similar to Insurgency’s theater system), and things of that nature.
We’ve added a ton of content since our last update in January. Release will have roughly 40 weapons and about 40 upgrades available for many of those weapons. While some of these weapons will be familiar for fans of Insurgency, many are new. Fire support has been further fleshed out and runs the gamut from jet airstrikes (BRRRT), explosive artillery, chemical mortars, explosive suicide drones, and helicopters who will swoop in and attack with rockets, miniguns, and autocannons. When coordinated effectively by a team’s Commander and Observer player classes, one of these fire support options can spark a pretty wicked comeback or solidify the strength of a push. We’re also working on our character customization system which will include hundreds of different cosmetic items as well as several voice options. We have included over 6500 lines of unique character dialogue including local Arab fighters (for both Security and Insurgent teams), American special operations soldiers, fire support coordinators, and air support pilots. We currently have no plans to include Steam Marketplace support, item trading, or a loot crate system. All these items, in addition to not affecting gameplay, will be a totally optional secondary aspect to the game. They will be unlocked by progressing through ranks and by using an ingame currency system with a direct buy option for most items.
Alright, let’s show off some screenshots. Unreal Engine 4 has just been awesome to work with. Epic have been great partners and we’ve been able to bring Sandstorm’s maps up to a level of visual quality and overall size unprecedented to what we could achieve before.
We’ve certainly come a long way in engine technology, huh? Unreal’s 20th birthday was just last week, and we are happy to be working with the tools that follow in its legacy.
Oh yeah, and we’re working on dismemberment too. This is still a pretty heavy work in progress.
Be sure to follow our social media for more info as things develop. We’re going to be at E3 in Los Angeles letting people play the game in the West Hall #4512 at the Focus Home Interactive booth. Please feel free to come find us and say hi. All of us on our team and at Focus are still very excited to show all of you Insurgency: Sandstorm, and we can’t wait to put it in your hands. Stay tuned and stick with us. It’s really not much longer now.