The Kickstarter campaign for World War 2 first-person shooter Battalion 1944 ended this week, bringing in £317,218 ($451,000) from more than 10,000 backers. The game raised its target £100,000 ($142,000) in just a few days, and the final funding figure is 317 percent of goal. This excess funding has unlocked new stretch goals and allows developer Bulkhead Interactive to make a game that will "challenge the biggest AAA shooters in the industry."
The stretch goals for enhanced particle effects, the Currahee Boot Camp (inspired by the TV show Band of Brothers), and a D-Day map were reached, but not enough money was raised to introduce the British (£325,000) and Russian (£400,000) armies.
"The reason these stretch goals were placed at such a high price is because characters cost a lot to make. We aren't cutting corners on this game AT ALL," executive producer Joe Brammer said. "If we want to join the ranks alongside Activision and DICE we need to build quality like they do, this costs money. For us to design entire character sets, all the customizations that go with it, custom faces, weapons, voice overs, implementing them into the game, maps, environments, and in some cases game modes, that all costs money."
Brammer went on to say that some "very big publishers" have reached out to Bulkhead in recent weeks to presumably discuss a publishing deal that might allow for the British and Russian armies to make it into the game. Brammer explained that these companies (he didn't divulge their names) are player-focused and would not force Bulkhead to give up its creative control.
"Although we aren't at liberty to say who, we can say they're loved by their communities and they understand how important it is to a team and a community like ours to retain 100 percent creative control over a game like Battalion 1944," he said. "They have no intentions and nor do we have ANY intentions of just giving up the design and creativity behind the Battalion franchise. The game will always 100 percent remain ours, built together with the community."
Some Bulkhead team members will travel to San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference this month to meet with some potential partners.
"In short, be patient and have faith! Because at the end of the day, do you think we don't want to add them?!" Brammer said about the British and Russian armies.
One of the other stretch goals (£1.2 million) was for a single-player campaign, but this was not met and Bulkhead didn't say anything about its mysterious publishing deal covering this.
Although Kickstarter funding for Battalion 1944 has ended, Bulkhead will open a PayPal "slacker backer" page in the weeks ahead. It will be open for one week only and supporters will be able to get some of the Kickstarter rewards. After this, Bulkhead will open an official Battalion 1944 store, where people will be able to purchase the game for a "higher but still discounted preorder price." Supporters can also pay for access to the game's upcoming alpha and beta tests, though, again, this will be at a higher price than Kickstarter and PayPal.
The multiplayer shooter aims to capture the "core of classic multiplayer shooters" while using the "most advanced industry technology." You can see some early gameplay footage here or check out some just-released screenshots in the gallery below.
Battalion 1944 is expected to launch in May 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.