Yes, Fates is a true sequel and a full-fledged separate game by all means, from content and playtime to technology and value for the players.
This decision has several reasons:
1️⃣ Player value
Back in December last year, we planned to release Fates as a free update, with corresponding scope.
But after hearing the voices of the VR community and our own developers, it was decided to go all-in and make the best game we are capable of.
Instead of an hour of gameplay, we made a separate game, better in every aspect, with new content, mechanics and 5-8 hours of story campaign (depending on side quests and time spent in open world locations).
In the latest trailers, we have only shown you a few locations, and haven't even touched on characters, quests and other content yet. More surprises will come later, as we don't want to spoil them right now.
2️⃣ Technological advancement
The development of STRIDE started back in 2019 with a small team of very enthusiastic, but new-to-the-scene developers. With all the years of updates and introduction of multiplayer, the code base of the project has been growing larger and more convoluted. Despite several restructurings, some technical debt and restrictions are still present in the project.
When we started developing Fates as an update / DLC, we encountered the limitations of the original STRIDE, as the new project contains a lot of content that is very different from the original. The new content required significant changes to the game engine and other technical aspects.
At some point, after fruitless attempts to upgrade the existing engine, we had to restart the project and basically re-do almost all the code from scratch, and now the new engine is incompatible with the original STRIDE.
For example, now we can use the Vulkan API for graphics to improve the performance on standalone headsets. This allowed us to improve the visuals through physically-correct rendering (PBR) and made possible to create huge open-world locations with content that was previously inaccessible to us due to the technical and architectural limitations of the original STRIDE.
Reworked STRIDE Engine now offers advanced levels of graphics, physics and interactivity on standalone VR. We refined every aspect of the original STRIDE: shooting and weapons, enemy variety and their AI… the list goes on and on.
When you run, fight, interact with characters or solve puzzles, you will feel a major leap in technology.
3️⃣ Consistent future
We hope you enjoy the games we make :)
To continue pleasing our supporters with new updates and future projects, we kindly ask you to support Fates if it's your cup of tea.
All these years we've been growing together with our players. Now, with more than 80 experienced professionals in the company, we can finally deliver the game that the community has been asking for, doing our best to exceed your expectations.