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Why a Vampyr sequel is a no-brainer for Dontnod and Focus Home

Published: 20:53, 04 July 2019
DONTNOD Entertainment
Vampyr protagonist Jonathan E. Reid is walking in a building with blood on his shirt.
Vampyr

Dontnod's first delve into the RPG genre, Vampyr, was met with mostly positive reception but still remained a divisive game among the community which prompted them to ponder whether a sequel would happen. This is why we think it will.

Vampyr saw a lot of positive reviews thanks to the game's strong narrative and fairly well-executed RPG mechanics, except for the level scaling. It's one of the two reasons that generated most of the negative reviews for Dr. Reid's bloodsucking adventures, the other one being a lack of quicksaves.

Other than those two issues, Vampyr has everything going for it with fans already anticipating a sequel. While Dontnod haven't officially announced it just yet, here are a few reasons why we believe Vampyr 2 is inevitable.

Dontnod Dr Reid is shooting someone in the head in Vampyr Vampyr

Existing issues are easy to fix

As already mentioned, the two main issues players had with Vampyr are level scaling and lack of quicksaves. Both of these were born out of necessity since many saw Vampyr as an extremely easy game when it came to combat and progress initially.

Dontnod later introduced harder difficulties and possibly messed with the lower ones which often results in busted level scaling where players can find themselves fighting bosses 10 or more levels higher than their own.

Vampyr was the studio's first attempt at a proper RPG game and they didn't really have a reference point when it came to difficulty scaling. With plenty of feedback on the first game, they shouldn't have too many issues making Vampyr 2 feel just right.

DONTNOD Entertainment Johnathan the Impaler is impaling people on some weird vampire spikes Vampyr

When it comes to quicksaving, autosaves were likely enforced so choices made would feel like they had more impact, kind of like Ironman runs in XCOM. The problem with Vampyr arose due to game-breaking bugs that made progress impossible combined with the inability to return to a convenient savestate preceding the bug.

Getting rid of this issue can be done through either more polishing before release or simply enabling quicksaves. In any case, both of the issues are low-hanging fruit for the marketing department of Vampyr 2, since the devs can fix them and then advertise the sequel as an upgrade over the original.

Vampyr was a commercial success

Vampyr released on 5 June 2018 and needed to sell one million copies to be considered successful, but half of that would be considered profitable, as per Focus Home Interactive's statement regarding the game's financial performance and expectations.

The game sold 450,000 copies in the first month alone and most likely crossed into profitable territory not long after.

The one million copies milestone was knocked off by April 2019 when both Dontnod and Focus Home expressed their pleasure with the success by announcing a renewal in their partnership.

DONTNOD Entertainment Vampire is sucking some guy's blood in London after the first World War. Vampyr: Vampire Hunters? You mean blood bags?

Publishers love sequels to successful games

This one is a no brainer. Every publisher will be more than happy finance a sequel to a successful game.

In the case of Focus Home, this goes even one step further since they apparently don't mind publishing sequels to games that were neither wildly successful nor well received. The Surge is a good example - a sequel is well on its way even though the first game is suspected to have sold barely enough to recoup the costs.

Furthermore, Fear the Wolves also happened in the meantime which was a swing and miss at a S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-esque battle royale.

Having a sequel to Vampyr, a game that was a success by most metrics, definitely looks like the next logical step. The only cog that is currently missing is Dontnod's official commitment.

DONTNOD Entertainment Some weirdo with a bullethole in his temple is walking around a creepy basement Vampyr

When could it come along?

Dontnod are currently hard at work porting Vampyr to Nintendo Switch and after that their main focus will likely on Twin Mirror, an episodic adventure game which lies well within the studio's comfort zone as far as genre goes. Twin Mirror is slated for a 2020 release so don't expect Vampyr 2 to pop up in the next couple of years.

If Life is Strange and its sequel are anything to go by, an optimistic projection for when we can expect to start seeing promotional material and such is the second half of 2020, with a possible release date sometime in 2021.

This would also clear the studio for making Vampyr 2 work on next-gen consoles which may or may not impact the release date. It largely depends on whether they will aim to sell the sequel on both the current and next generation simultaneously.

Vampyr - Action RPG by Dontnod and Focus Home Interactive

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Dontnod's action RPG Vampyr released earlier this year, and it revolves around Jonathan Reid the newly turned vampire who is confronted by the blood-thirst. Vampyr recently landed the first place on the UK Chars for the month June.

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