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Hinterland, the developer behind snowy survival game The Long Dark, has teased an ‘unannounced survival game’ currently in development at the studio, and the accompanying alpha footage certainly has the hallmarks of a potential The Long Dark 2.
Hinterland boss Raphael van Lierop (who confirmed he was stepping away from The Long Dark to start a new project at the studio back in 2022) shared the 22 seconds of “in-engine pre-alpha” footage on social media today, along with the caption, “Some good things happening in the Unannounced Survival Games space…”.
The video itself is little more than a slow pan across a slightly ramshackle room – but a closer look might just offer some big clues as to the nature of Hinterland’s new project. A running tally of “days” scrawled on the mirror and the general makeshift dilapidation of the room certainly suggest some kind of disaster has befallen the world outside, while the two roaring fires and the howling wind absolutely bring The Long Dark’s big freeze to mind.
It’s hard not to interpret all that as a tease for The Long Dark 2 – or at least a new game set in The Long Dark’s ecologically battered universe – but, obviously, nothing is certain until Hinterland says more. What we do know, though, thanks to an update from van Lierop last September, is that the studio currently has three new titles in the works – two being “ambitious, large-scale projects that will set the foundation for Hinterland’s future beyond The Long Dark”, and the third a “smaller project” described as a “thoughtful, beautiful, linear sci-fi game that is very, very different from The Long Dark”. The latter was supposed to be the first in line for a reveal, but today’s ‘survival game’ footage suggests plans have changed.
This September marks ten years since The Long Dark launched into Steam early access, so 2024 seems as good a time as any for Hinterland to start talking about what’s next in more excplicit detail – particularly as the extraordinarily long-in-the-works fifth and final chapter of The Long Dark’s Wintermute story mode, and the remaining two parts of its Tales From the Far Territory DLC, are due to release before the end of this year.