Iron Gate’s Valheim has been a near-unprecedented success. The development studio paired up with the publishers at Coffee Stain Studios, who have experienced success with other beloved breakout titles like Deeprock Galactic and Satisfactory. Now, Coffee Stain Studios is explaining what helped Iron Gate make a winning game like Valheim. Plus, the viking survival simulator’s latest patch sees some visual overhauls to a couple of bosses, and a rework of harpoon mechanics.
Coffee Stain Studios explains Iron Gate’s success
Coffee Stain Studios struck gold with Iron Gate’s Valheim. As of March 2021, Valheim has already sold approximately 6 million copies — an incredible number for a small studio like Iron Gate. Sebastian Badylak, executive producer for Valheim at Coffee Stain, told Games Industry that they did expect a degree of success.
“We knew from the beta period that the game was well received by players, who played more than we thought they would — that set us up with quite positive expectations. We were confident that the game would do well, and definitely sell in the tens of thousands in the first week,” he told the publication.
Coffee Stain suggests that Valheim was a quality game with inherent entertainment value. Coffee Stain CEO Albert Säfström thinks the discovery aspect of the game brought players back to feelings of adventure.
“The way that the game doesn’t present everything it has at first glance has also helped. It’s created a sense of discovery — the way we’ve seen the community discover the game is similar to how people were waiting for the next episode of Game of Thrones and speculating what would happen,” he explained.
“But that’s definitely down to [Valheim] being the right game at the right time, and above all being high quality,” added Badylak.
Valheim’s incredibly reasonable price of $20 is also attractive to players — it’s an immense amount of entertaining content for a very low price, compared to other games. Säfström says the lack of monetization around and in the game has been a boon.
“This way of not heavily monetizing things…with Valheim, we’ve shown that you can make a very successful game — both in terms of the amount of players and financially successful — without focusing so much on how you’re going to make all of the money,” said Säfström.
‘Valheim’ patch 0.153.2 changes harpoon mechanics, updated boss visuals
Although Valheim has experienced wild success, players must remember that Iron Gate is a small studio, who cares about making sure their game is high-quality. That means that Valheim updates and patches will be spaced out with plenty of time in between, as Iron Gate will want everything to be up to snuff with their vision.
However, fans may be excited to hear that Valheim patch 0.153.2 has added some visual overhauls to a couple of the game’s bosses, as well as mechanical changes to the harpoon, among other things.
The Valheim update sees The Elder and Bonemass receiving visual overhauls. The Bonemass trophy is now the boss creature’s face, filled with skulls and bones — plus it moves after being placed. The troll also received a visual overhaul — although the large creature was definitely frightening to stumble upon, its texturing and some other aspects of its design left some players feeling it was more goofy looking than scary.
Additionally, harpoon mechanics have been changed, although the patch notes did not delve into further detail about what that meant.