After having absolutely smashed its Kickstarter goal in just two days, it seems like Battalion 1944 is all set to take the gaming world by storm when it launches in May next year. Bulkhead Interactive’s World War 2 shooter is looking back in time for its inspiration – not just to the 1940’s setting in-game, but to an age of classic FPS titles.
After a long absence, (probably caused by the Call of Duty franchise’s decision to move away from the genre), the WW2 shooter might well be back for good, and Battalion 1944 will likely be the game that booted down the doors for a revival.
Obviously, we’re all keen to know as much as possible about the game. Luckily, we’ve had words with the guys at Bulkhead Interactive to find out their thoughts regarding the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Battalion 1944, the origins of the game, their thoughts on modern shooters, and any plans they have for the title down the line.
UNILAD: Did you have any idea there would be such a huge demand for this game? Was a WW2 revival something you wanted to do on a personal level, or were you aware people would go nuts for it?
Bulkhead Interactive: I mean, we didn’t do it because we thought it was just us! I don’t want to give some BS interview here where I say “oh we’re so passionate about what we’re doing” and everybody reads this and says “pfft, you’re just in it for the money”. Because really, we just wanted to play Call of Duty 2 again. We absolutely love shooters, not just WW2 shooters, but the whole genre. Sadly in our opinion, it’s been a bit monopolized by these huge titles. Their goals don’t line up with what a large portion of their players want. We know, because we were those players. We drifted off and stopped playing those games.
Did you think you’d reach your Kickstarter goal so quickly, or were you prepared for a bit of a wait?
It was inconceivable to us that this game wouldn’t get made, it’s just too awesome in our opinion. But I’ll be honest, we are rushed off our feet, we were prepared for maybe 7 or 8 days in hitting the target, but to hit it this quickly; there’s a whole load of stuff that needs to be done, including our other announcements! We’re really excited to announce our stretch goals, they’re awesome.
How do you feel about the (massively) positive reception to the game so far?
It feels great, everyone appreciates praise, but we’ve received it in lots of different ways. From people thanking us for taking the leap of faith to develop the early stages of Battalion. All the way to gamers tweeting in full caps “THIS GAME IS FOR ME!”. It’s just a good feeling to be standing proud in the games spotlight for a moment.
“We believe your skill should be determined by your play, not through unfair overpowered unlocks & abilities” – seems like a bit of a dig at modern shooters, how do you feel about the direction recent FPS games have taken over the years, and has this played a part in your motivation to make Battalion 1944?
Modern day shooters have moved away from what we think makes the FPS genre truly fun. We don’t want players to have an advantage over each other because someone had an extra unlock or overpowered ability. We designed Battalion from the beginning to ensure that every weapon is available to you from the second you start playing. We really want to encourage raw skill and gritty combat.
Any plans for a single player campaign?
No we don’t. Developing a single player campaign is a huge undertaking and would require much more time and budget to complete to a good standard. Our focus is getting the multiplayer experience perfect and to ensure this we need to focus our time and funding in the right place.
How important was it to you guys to get the details – weapons, environments, etc – just right?
We’re striving for an authentic experience and getting these kinds of details just right is the key to achieving that. I think that including these kinds of details will bring a whole new feel to the genre and is a perfect example of how far the technology has come in the last 10 years.
Can you tell us a bit about any planned stretch goals? A few people have been wondering about the inclusion of other nationalities. Is something like that on the cards?
We’re not ready to announce just yet, but stay tuned as we have some awesome stretch goals lined up for release soon!
Finally; It seems unlikely that there are any people left who are unsure about Battalion 1944, but what would you say to anyone who happens to be on the fence in regards to buying the game?
I would want those on the fence to know just how passionate and committed we are to making this game the best it can be. We’re putting the community first throughout the entire development process, and I think that players will notice this in ways that they might not have seen as much in other games and projects.
You can still pledge towards Battalion 1944 through the game’s Kickstarter page and help fund the project.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.