This is great news for the Warhammer: Vermintide team. Sequel Vermintide 2 has already outsold the original, only two weeks after its release.
Sequels are always a tricky business, aren’t they? Whether we’re talking video games, movies, books or any media, there’s so much pressure with a follow-up. The trouble is, it’s so hard for the creators to really win. On the one hand, if you weren’t a fan of the original, a new game with a ‘2’ (or a snappy subtitle) slapped on isn’t going to change your mind. On the other side of the coin, if you thought the original was great, the hype for the sequel can lead to disappointment.
When a follow-up is done well, though, that’s a beautiful thing. When the original developers/designers/writers commit themselves to working from a solid foundation, and take on board feedback from the original, wondrous things can happen. That seems to have been exactly the case with Vermintide 2.
For the uninitiated, Warhammer: Vermintide is a first-person shooter/adventure title, which hit PC, Xbox One and PS4 in 2015. It’s a Left 4 Dead sort of affair, which sees players forming teams of up to four and setting out to destroy waves of hideous beasts. The game was a critical and commercial success, but developer Fatshark weren’t about to rest on their laurels.
As PC Games Insider reports, Vermintide 2 arrived on March 8 of this year, and has already surpassed the total lifetime revenue of the original. This is quite a feat, considering that the sequel is only available for PC as of right now.
So, what can we attribute this remarkable success to? Not multi-million dollar ads and PR stunts, that’s for darn sure. As Fatshark CEO Martin Wahlund himself said, “We didn't have a huge marketing budget, but we got a lot of support, both from the media, from streamers and from gamers all over the world. It's been fantastic for us. We're a relatively small independent company so it's tough to get through.”
In short, it’s a triumph for the (relatively) little guy, using good ol’ fashioned resources like word of mouth. Wahlund also stated that simply committing to making a bigger, better game played a part.
Let’s all follow this example, developers, and get sequels right. This isn’t to say that Vermintide 2 is flawless, not by any means, but that the team are listening to criticism and responding to it. Those darn difficulty spikes, for instance, are set to be fixed in an update coming in mid-April.
Follow ups are always tough, and unpredictable to boot. They can be super successful, though. Just look at Nintendo Switch, and how quickly it outdid its disastrous predecessor.