Darkfall Release Schedule
We know that the community has been speculating and wondering about the Darkfall release for some time. We haven’t replied until now because there were several complex issues to plan and work out. We also needed to get authorization before we could proceed with this official announcement:
Starting on January 22nd there will be a Darkfall trial with the distribution of the release candidate client allowing thousands of players to sample the game for free, help us stress test our servers and test the final features of the game.
It’s important to understand that there are well over 200 thousand applications by players wanting to get into Darkfall. This number makes it unrealistic to distribute the client and to open up our servers to everyone. We’ll try to accommodate as many players as are possible for us to manage at this stage. Even so, the demand exceeds our current capacity. Interest in Darkfall has surpassed all our expectations to the point that we may need to manage our release differently.
The date of the Darkfall European commercial release has been pushed back to February 25th, 2009. A pre-order will be made available mid-February. The pre-orders will get priority for early access to the game. The pre-orders will also get priority for the game launch if we have to go to a staged release. We’ll go to a staged release only in the case we have more demand than we can handle properly, and until we can upgrade our capacity. The pre-orders are necessary so that we can have some measure of the demand.
The reasons for the new release date follow:
- At this stage, everything is connected: Hundreds of elements need to come together. When one thing falls behind, everything else tends to follow.
- Demand for Darkfall at launch could be much higher than expected. If this is the case, we need a different process to better handle the demand.
- Darkfall’s partners (distribution, billing, account management, support, etc.) entered into the game at a late date and we needed more time than expected to integrate properly.
- We fell behind on a couple of weeks of beta testing progress and we need to make this time up. We need more playtesting data on several features we haven’t had much chance to test externally.
- We’ll use this extra time to implement updates based on tester feedback and also make some enhancements we were saving for after release.
- We want as many players as possible in the game before the launch and we haven’t had the chance to stress test our servers with live players yet.
- We underestimated the effect the holidays would have on our preparations. While we worked through them, the world around us seemed to stop.
- We don’t want to rush things more than needed. An extra month may not seem like a lot of time, but it’s enough to allow us to take care of any compounded delays.
Our hope for Darkfall is to have a good game with a tight player base that we can nurture and steadily build up. Hype surrounding Darkfall is huge right now, despite our best efforts. We’re not sure how this will translate on launch day but we have to make allowances for the possibility that demand could be more than we anticipate.
Announcements will follow with more information on Darkfall pricing, pre-ordering information, North American player access, and system specifications.
The Darkfall Team