Remedy Wants to Solve the Content Treadmill Issue of Co-Op Games

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Remedy had a strong year in 2020 despite not releasing any new titles, and the Finnish game developer also recently raised €41.5 million through shares. These new funds will be used for the projects that are in development.

Talking to GamesIndustry in a newly published interview, CEO Tero Virtala shared some new tidbits on those future plans. One project is called Vanguard and will represent the first foray of Remedy in the multiplayer space. According to Virtala, the key will be solving the long-standing issue of 'content treadmill' in cooperative games.

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Multiplayer gaming is a highly competitive space, especially when you talk about PvP or team-vs-team games -- but in the co-op space, there are a few highly successful games. There's a clear reason for that: in PvP and team-vs-team, the content creation is not that big of an issue because the other players are the content -- they're always making the experience new, session after session.

In co-op games, the challenge was often the content treadmill. In order to create long-lasting experiences, the developer cannot rely solely on handcrafting and making every single level and mission unique because that's not typically a path that's sustainable. We saw that there are unsolved questions about how a long-lasting, service-based co-op game could be made. If we can solve those problems, if we can bring the way we tell stories via the world and exploration, those could be elements we can utilise better in co-op (PvE) than PvP.

It sounds like Virtala is referring to some sort of procedural level generation, which is really the only way to try to keep a game fresh as handcrafted levels and missions can never solve the content treadmill issue.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Remedy CEO briefly discussed the two games it's developing with Epic as the publisher. It sounds like those will be set in the same fictional universe.

When we were focused on just creating one single story, I don't think we were utilising enough of all the hard work we did on creating the background for these worlds. With Control, we took the first step in giving players more reasons to spend more time in the world, explore them and that's been successful.

With the project we're doing with Epic, it's in a world we want players to spend more time in. There's more opportunities to explore the world and the brand than in one single game.

Stay tuned for more on Remedy's upcoming slate of games.

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