10 Chambers devs on Den of Wolves, the challenges of monetisation & moving on from GTFO
Many people will know 10 Chambers as the developers of GTFO, a hardcore cooperative shooter that released out of early access in late 2021.
It's kept a healthy player base for a fairly niche shooter since then, but for 10 Chambers it's time to unveil its next project, Den of Wolves, a cooperative heist game set in a science fiction future of corporate espionage, sabotage, and assassinations.
In November, I got the chance to fly out to Copenhagen for a presentation on the game, and a sit-down with Narrative Director Simon Viklund, and Communications Director Robin Björkell to talk more about the project and what fans can expect from it.
During the presentation, it became clear that while Den of Wolves is also a cooperative shooter like GTFO, the team has gone in a very different direction.
"GTFO is sort of a once-in-a-career game anyway," Viklund said.
"Maybe some fans of GTFO are going to be disappointed that our next game is not as hardcore… but we want to change things up too."
Elaborating on this a little, Viklund stated, "I love going back into the power fantasy vibe."
"That was very much by design. And then Tencent invested in us… they were like 'whatever you guys want to do, we want to be in on it… but maybe it can be a little less hardcore.'
"They're not asking us to do anything mass market… but we're not against that. I mean, we've worked on Payday the Heist and Payday 2, which were very arcadey."
I also asked if they found ways to appeal to the hardcore audience from GTFO, while balancing a wider market appeal.
"We're hoping people who enjoyed GTFO are going to stick around and give Den of Wolves a chance," Viklund explained.
He went on to talk about how there will be functions to modify heists and increase the reward, while also making everything more difficult.
He continued, "It's sort of an extra way to play the game, rather than the standard way to play it."
A begrudging concession
With a bigger budget, bigger team, and more expansive game than GTFO, Den of Wolves will feature paid DLC expansions, with the possibility of microtransactions.
I asked Viklund about microtransactions specifically.
"It's sort of mitigating the risks… It's a concession we made begrudgingly," he admitted.
Microtransactions aren't currently confirmed, but Viklund stated they wanted to be on the safe side, and say it could be implemented, rather than saying they won't be added and having to do so later on.
On DLC, Viklund also elaborated more on how the structure of expansions will work.
"We will add storylines as self-contained sort of DLC packages."
The team are aware of the possibility of fracturing the community with this approach, and Viklund confirmed the game will only require one player to own a DLC for a group of four friends to play together.
What do we know about the game's setting?
With the cyberpunk genre and aesthetic being in vogue across the media landscape right now, I wanted to know what helped set Den of Wolves and its similar setting apart.
"We think it's almost like a fantasy science fiction… cyberpunk that is," Viklund explained. "I don't think anyone believes that is a future that we will live in," Bjorkell added.
Viklund continued, stating, "We just want to create something that feels more like this could be a future."
"It is more grounded, and we make it just enough sci-fi to serve the gameplay."
"We're trying to create this world where everything is connected and everything feels real, and it's not these random things just put together, but it feels coherent."
You can learn more about Den of Wolves from the official TGA trailer and the website.