Wayfinder ditches live service model to “live forever”, returns to Steam June 11th and PlayStation later this year

Wayfinder ditches live service model to “live forever”, returns to Steam June 11th and PlayStation later this year

Airship Syndicate’s Wayfinder launched in Early Access on Steam and PlayStation 4 & 5 just this past August. But it was an inauspicious start as publisher Digital Extreme’s backend faltered resulting in downtime, server queues, and the current Mixed-to-Mostly-Negative reception for the free-to-play Action RPG. Worse yet, just months later Digital Extremes announced several layoffs within the company and ceased external projects including publishing Wayfinder.

It was no doubt a huge setback for Airship Syndicate but the developer confirmed that they would be taking over as publisher and continuing to work on the game. Things have taken longer than expected but on April 8th the team announced that Wayfinder was being removed from sale as ownership changed hands, stating that “we have no plans for it to disappear like so many online-only games we’ve all played and loved. We think Wayfinder can be something special, and be around to play forever”.

The studio provided an update last week on May 15th detailing the game’s return and its massive and surprising shift to a single-purchase model. Highlights from the Steam Store announcement are below with the major points in bold. Airship Syndicate also provided an even more detailed and candid press release on their homepage here.

Wayfinder will be removing all online requirements and will be a single-player game with optional 3-player co-op. No queues, no login, no accounts. You can choose to play solo on your Steam Deck while on the go or engage in peer-to-peer co-op with friends from your home PC. We realize this is a big shift, but a necessary one to guarantee that the game is around forever. This also means that all progress will not be carried forward due to saves being local and not on a server. This major change will be the basis for what we’re calling Wayfinder’s Echoes Update.

Removing the online requirement wasn’t our only major change. The industry has also shifted in recent years. With more and more games coming out, they’re all fighting for player’s time and attention. Players have more to play than ever, and they’re being asked to log into multiple games to check their daily quests, look at a store rotation, and be drip-fed content. Players today are more apt to outright purchase a game they know is full of content and also respectful of their time. In the Echoes Update, we’ll be charging one price—$24.99 USD during Early Access (increasing upon full release). No in-game microtransactions or in-game purchases, just one price. Founders who have already purchased the game will have access, and all the exclusive items included in each pack. Our Founder’s Packs will not be going back on sale. For anyone that supported us by purchasing in-game Runesilver, we’ve converted that Runesilver into a new in-game currency used to acquire exclusive cosmetics.

While we have lots more to share on these changes in the coming weeks, we have always felt that actions speak louder than words. Therefore, we’ll be soft launching Wayfinder Echoes’ changes on May 31st. From that point forward, all online requirements tied to Steam, including all player data, will be removed, and the game will be available for anyone that currently owns any version of Wayfinder on Steam. Wayfinder will once again be available for purchase on Steam in Early Access on June 11th. These changes will come to PlayStation 5 later in the year, and we’ll keep players updated once we have a concrete timeline. PlayStation 4 support will be discontinued, with all PS4 versions being upgraded to PS5 at no additional cost. In the meantime, PlayStation 4 and 5 players can continue to access the game as normal. Relaunching in Early Access on a single platform also allows us to be agile and make changes at a faster pace than before. We plan to leave Early Access later in 2024, but during that time, we’ll be adding gameplay refinements based on feedback, a new Wayfinder, a new location to explore, new expanded housing, and more. We’re also formally announcing that Wayfinder will be coming to Xbox Series X|S during Early Access, and we’ll provide an update on timing later in the year.

Steam Store Announcement – May 15, 2024

Alongside the announcement the studio also released the roadmap image seen above with their press release providing more details on the PlayStation (and eventual Xbox) versions. Ironically, just like this week’s news about Hunt: Showdown, the studio will also be retiring the PlayStation 4 version of Wayfinder once the PlayStation 5 release is ready to go. But unlike Crytek’s vague statement, Airship Syndicate already confirmed that PS4 owners will get the PS5 version “at no additional cost”… outside of having to buy a PlayStation 5 that is.

For existing owners and prospective players Airship is promising more news and feature reveals over the coming months leading up to the game’s June 11th return to Steam and summertime resurgence on PlayStation. Thanks to our own HandMaskTar for the news on this one, we’ve added the Steam relisting date to the Watch List calendar.