Killing Floor 2 has been around for close to three years now (longer if you count the Early Access period), and during that time developer Tripwire Interactive has been pretty generous with free content in updates like Back and Kickin' Brass, Season's Beatings, Infinite Onslaught, and the Summer Sideshow. Unfortunately, we live in a world where making games requires making money, and so Tripwire is going to change things up a bit in the next update.
"As we have looked at the life cycle of the game, we strived to look at new ways that will enable the game to live on and grow well into the future. With where we are with the project, we know there’s a hungry desire for everything featured in Killing Floor 2. While the updates have all been free in terms of features, weapons, zeds, maps, etc, the cost of development has certainly been anything but," Tripwire explained in a Steam post. "Ultimately, that status quo of our current strategy cannot sustain the current level of support that you have all grown accustomed to without a major shakeup."
Tripwire said that it could go one of two ways: Either cut way back on the content included with each update, or find new sources of revenue that will enable it to continue operating at the current level. It opted for the latter choice, acknowledging that it will be "more controversial" but saying that it will better for the game in the long run: Offering all new weapons in future content updates, along with five unique weapon skins for each, in $10 DLC packs.
The studio said it will ensure paid weapons will "not be better than any weapon of [a] similarly targeted tier in terns of raw stats," but instead will "provide new gameplay experiences and fill new roles within the arsenal that are not already served." They'll also work with the Shared Content system, so that if one player on a server owns a paid weapon, all other players in the match will have access to it. That will also give players a chance to try their hand at new paid weapons before committing to a purchase.
Tripwire clarified that the addition of paid weapons does not mean the end of free weapons. It has another program in the works, to be announced soon, "that will add new weapon types to existing weapons that will provide fresh gameplay experiences." Those weapon types, along with other "non-cosmetic content," will be free for all players. Tripwire is also considering changes to Killing Floor 2's "Zedconomy" crate and key system, and more direct purchase bundles like the Clot Backpack bundle and Dragon & Koi Weapon Skin bundles will become available in the future, but there are no imminent changes on that front.
"There are no plans to change our current strategy and support for modding. We will continue to support and add new hooks as we are able to throughout development to further the modding community for KF2," Tripwire wrote. "As a tangible example to our continued commitment, we will be adding a system so that mappers will be able to make their own Objective Mode maps that are recognized by the game, in addition to addressing Mid-match dosh issues with custom weapons within our next major content update."
"While we recognize as a team this news is bound to come with many strong emotions, we hope you now understand the rationale of this decision for the future of Killing Floor 2 and that you’ll continue to support us and the game."
Tripwire also showcased a couple of new weapons coming to the game in the near future, the Rhino's pistol and the Ion Thruster blade, and kicked off its end-of-summer "Double XP And Increased Drop Rate" weekend event.