Warhammer: End Times—Vermintide was one of the happier surprises of 2015. It earned an Editor's Choice award in our review—which I most certainly did not see coming—and gamers clearly liked it, too, to the tune of more than 500,000 copies sold.
“We are really happy with the sales so far. We reached half a million copies much faster than we estimated. As a small studio, this really is an amazing milestone for us. The office is a hive of excitement,” Fatshark CEO Martin Wahlund said. “We are overwhelmed by the positive response from both players and critics alike, and this has given us the extra drive to continue providing exciting and engaging content so that everyone can continue to enjoy the game long into the future.”
Vermintide has so far had two free and one paid DLC release (most recently the sneezy-sounding Schluesselschloss) and the next one is expected to be ready by the beginning of May. Before that, however, the studio said it will push a new, free update that will address a very common complaint: That the game is just too easy.
“Based off the signals we’ve received from the community this seems to be the case,” Wahlund said. “We’ve therefore been hard at work designing a difficulty mode more challenging than anything you’ve ever played before.”
The new Death Wish difficulty doubles—no, triples!—everything. Skaven, Ratling Gunners, Rat Ogres, Gutter Runners—triple all around! And as you can see from the trailer, that's a whole lotta rats. Now, you might be thinking to yourself that this is just an April Fools prank, and you may well be right. But while it's obviously a lark, I'm not quite fully convinced that it's not real. It seems like it would be simple enough to do, after all, and based on the response in the Steam and YouTube comments, a lot of people actually want to try it.
I've reached out to Fatshark to find out what's really going on here, and I'll let you know what they say. (And just to be sure, I'm going to add it to our 2016 April Fools' roundup, too. Don't miss that, by the way—there's some pretty good stuff this year.)
Update: Alas, Fatshark has confirmed that Death Wish mode is a April Fools gag and nothing more, at least for now. "However, if a lot of people genuinely want this difficulty added to the game, then who knows what future updates might bring," a rep told me. Pity.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.