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Survival game The Long Dark gets paid season pass this year

For the first time in eight years, paid DLC is coming to the survival game, with a The Long Dark season pass planned - as the studio's founder steps down

There will be a The Long Dark season with paid DLC for the first time

In its latest developer diary, Hinterland Studio says that a The Long Dark season pass is coming “later this year” – which will represent the first paid DLC for the popular survival game since it was released eight years ago in 2014, as the studio founder hands the reins to a new lead.

In a lengthy April update on Steam, Hinterland founder Raphael van Lierop talks about the future of The Long Dark and the changes coming to the open-world game – specifically, about the team’s plans to “decouple” the sandbox survival mode and the story mode. He explains how The Long Dark has steadily “increased in scope and complexity” to the point where it has become “unwieldy”.

Furthermore, the close connection between the two modes meant that certain planned updates for one mode “couldn’t really be done because of how they might impact the other”. However, the team is now at the stage where it can “update survival independently of story”. According to Raphael, players can now expect “a whole new era of survival mode content updates that will bring new life and new energy back into The Long Dark”.

To that end, Hinterland confirms that paid DLC for survival mode is coming as “some kind of ‘season pass’-type approach” with a “15-18 month campaign of updates” including new regions, challenges, mechanics, and more – which should release in the second half of 2022. For anyone who doesn’t want a full season pass, Hinterlands says it will meter these out in “3-4 individual paid DLC packages”, and there will still be free content too. Episode five of the story mode should hit in 2023.

Beyond that, Raphael van Lierop also says he is stepping down as project lead in favour of lead designer Katie Sorrell. He will remain at Hinterland as creative director and will start work on a new project, where he will “attempt to come up with something that has even greater longevity and impact that The Long Dark has had”.

Supposedly there’s a The Long Dark movie coming too, although whether that’s still happening is another matter.