War of the Vikings was announced two months ago, which is about an hour in game dev time. Yet here’s a hairy Swedish fella glaring out at us through a slit on Steam’s storefront, waiting for the £14.99 that’ll buy his freedom to rampage about your PC. That’s thanks to Steam Early Access, which is now being used by publishers. The weird ones, at least, like Paradox.
“After the first well-received War of the Vikings Alpha we began planning for the next phase and explored all options available to us,” explains exec producer Gordon Van Dyke. “We already knew we wanted to do another public Alpha and Beta, and we’d planned to offer pre-orders. After consideration, it was a no-brainer to go with Steam Early Access and kill two birds with one axe, and give our community ample opportunity to help shape the final product.”
Nobody’s ever killed a bird with an axe, Gordon. Not a flighted bird. You’ll go hungry that way.
So: £14.99, or free until the end of Thursday to alpha players and owners of War of the Roses’ Kingmaker Edition. What’s more, players of Kingmaker and Mount & Blade: Warband, the other saxon-dismemberment sim in Paradox’s catalogue, will pay 10% less for Early Access to Vikings for the next month.
Opportunities to pay more abound, however. Paradox are selling a Blood Eagle edition with a digital concept art book, soundtrack and extra in-game gear, as well as a season’s pass of sorts in the Valhalla edition – therein all game content will be unlocked, and any future DLC is yours for no extra cost.
All three editions will mean bonus loot and a unique shield pattern for early adopters once the game is officially finished in the first few months of next year.
Do you think you’ll arrive early to (one of) the (many) invasion(s) of England? There are shades of Battlefield in WotV’s squad system, so I’m interested.