This year may yet see another gaming blockbuster. The open beta of the cooperative shooter, The Finals, drew an audience of 267,000 people on Steam. This is almost four times as much as what Overwatch 2 peaked at on the platform.
The launch was so successful that the team had to quickly increase server capacity. Today, the game ranks among the top 5 games with the highest number of players, competing with giants like Apex Legends and PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS.
The game is the debut project from the Swedish studio Embark Studios, which was founded in 2018 by former top managers of DICE. Among the founders is Patrick Söderlund, who previously led DICE and EA and was responsible for the development of the Battlefield series.
The game is a cooperative arena shooter where multiple teams of three participants each compete to dominate different maps. It involves collecting as much gold as possible, taking it to a Cashout Station, and then defending it from other teams. The team with the highest score wins.
But the key feature of this new game is not the unconventional victory conditions but the complete destructibility. In The Finals, players can destroy entire parts of the map if they wish, thanks to Unreal Engine 5 adapted by Embark Studios.
However, this feature and the chosen toolkit could have become a problem for the game at some point. During closed beta tests that took place in spring and summer, participants complained about low performance and issues with movement.
By the time of the open beta launch, however, the developers managed to iron out the most significant issues. Currently, influencers highlight the project’s excellent quality and polish.
Despite the game’s success and readiness, the exact release date is still unknown. So it’s possible that the game may not be released this year, but rather in the following year.
Simultaneously, Embark Studios is also nearing completion of Arc Raiders, a third-person shooter in the vein of Hunt: Showdown and Escape From Tarkov. Both projects will follow the free-to-play model.