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Pathologic 2 will get free DLC despite studio struggles (updated)

(Image credit: TinyBuild Games)

Update:  The Marble Nest DLC will be a "polished and optimised version of what was once Pathologic 2's demo," according to Ice-Pick Lodge. The developer has confirmed that they're working on porting the game to consoles at the moment, but they don't have any details to share about their plans for the Bachelor or Changeling's stories.

Original story: Pathologic 2 by Ice-Pick Lodge was never going to set the world on fire. A dark and theatrical plague survival sim, set in a dreamlike, pseudo-Russian industrial town wracked by crises both self-made and supernatural. It's dark, weird and stressful, like living in one of David Lynch's more vivid fever-dreams. It's a hard sell, but it's a game I hold dear to my heart, making it all the more tragic that it hasn't sold as well as it might.

According to this interview with Russian games site DTF.ru, the poor sales of the game have changed the studio's plans for the future. Responding to a question on whether the game had was under-performing, studio head Nikolay Dybowski said this (translation via Google Translate):

"Yes, it is. And it will affect the further development in the most difficult way. Most of the team will disperse, the studio will again be reduced to a few basic people—exactly the same thing will happen after the failure of Eureka!

I think that, as in that situation, a small mobile game will save us. Only after that we will be able to take on the promised scenarios of the Bachelor and the Impostor—the studio simply will not have the technical ability to make them without money and people."

To clarify, Pathologic 2, as with the original game, was planned to have three playable characters. The Haruspex, the Bachelor and The Changeling (translated by Google as Impostor), but due to budget and time constraints, only the Haruspex made the final cut at launch. The studio has been weighing up plans to release the other two characters as DLC, paid or free, but whether they'll happen at all now is in doubt.

Despite these troubles, there's some small free* (the trailer doesn't say what the asterisk means) DLC on the way. The Marble Nest shares a name with the standalone demo released some time ago, and promises another two hours of focused story, separate from the lengthy sandbox survival experience of the main game.

Still, Pathologic 2 means a lot to some people, especially those involved in its production. Writer Kevin Snow (who was brought in to lead the English localisation effort) is imploring his Twitter followers to buy the game so that he might have the chance to translate the other two character's stories.

I've got my fingers crossed. The English script was one of my favourite parts of the game, and for a game with such dark subject matter, the dialogue frequently had some laugh-out-loud funny moments. It'd be a tragedy if we never got the other two thirds of this strange nightmare story.

I've reached out to Ice-Pick Lodge for more details.