Vampire survival game passes three million sold, is adding castles with multiple floors

V Rising vampire with crossbow
(Image credit: Stunlock Studios)

V Rising emerged from its coffin into early access in May last year and found an audience ravenous for a bit of survival-tinged bloodsucking. Developer Stunlock Studios has now announced that the game has sold over 3 million copies, pretty incredible figures for a PC-only indie title that isn't even fully released, and thanks to such success the ambitions for the future are high.

Literally. V Rising is far more than Valheim with vampires and, at its beating heart, is your big ol' gothic castle. The studio recently announced that a major free update is incoming, and the bit that matters is the admittedly dull-sounding multiple castle floors. But this is "by far the most requested feature" for the simple reason that "the vision of a dark silhouette on the cliff-side, tall and spearing the sky with towers, easily takes a Vampire’s imagination to an entire world of possibilities. One cannot help but dream of a mansion, a maze of rooms stacked atop a maze of rooms, opulent and seemingly endless."

One cannot help it but, in V Rising at the moment, one cannot do it either. You can currently build a sprawling one-floor castle, with players achieving height through the simple method of building on hills, so the studio's been prototyping how to implement castles with multiple levels. It says things may change and it's "a bit too early for promises" but at some point in 2023 players will be able to "build the castle of your dark dreams."

The world of Vardoran is also being expanded and overhauled with new enemies, visual upgrades, terrain variation, new bosses, and a whole new biome. There'll be a new marketplace feature that allows trading stations in settled zones, wagon vendors, and basically more ways to get rare cosmetics and gameplay items. Amusingly enough, some of them will be fine with selling to a vampire while, with others, you'll need to disguise yourself as human to get a deal done.

There are a whole bunch of other tweaks to things like the UI incoming, a new element to the combat system in the form of Jewels that grant abilities, an overhaul to inventory management, and other goals that may or may not make it in ("Things like seeing your clock in your coffin or giving more benefits to the coffin-like health recovery!"). The only downside to all of this is that, given the scale of this overhaul, it comes with a server wipe, so old saves will no longer work. The patch doesn't have a release date yet beyond sometime this year.

"Here at Stunlock Studios, the earthshaking launch of V Rising's Early Access wasn't a surprise in it's success, but in its magnitude," said marketing director Johan Ilves. "Our faith in our product was rewarded in connecting us with an unprecedented audience ranging from the most brutal vampiric dictators to the most elegant counts and countesses, and that audience grows every day. The passion of our player base has been nothing short of inspiring."

One of the quite sweet things about Stunlock is how conscious it is of what players like about V Rising, all those good vampire vibes, and its focus on improving that immersion with "little feel-good things like being able to sit in chairs, turn your lights on and off, name your castle, place signs, and being able to interact with your servants in more casual ways". That feels like a good future direction for a vampire game where arguably the best power is being able to shuffle storage crates.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."