A million copies sold in a week, and there’s still no slowdown on the horizon. No, we are not talking about the new big game signed by Sony or Nintendo, but about a small, indeed very small project, called Valhein, which in recent days has been able to conquer the imagination of the many who love to explore, survive and build. If this triptych looks familiar to you, it is because it is. Like Valhein there are many other games, but unlike its predecessors, this one has its own particular charm, its elegant cohesion, which allows it to stand out agile above the shapeless mass of Minecraft emulators. The rest of the work was done by the Twitch audience who, playing live, set in motion a word of mouth that has transformed Valhein into a real viral phenomenon.
The incipit is as simple as it is engaging: imprisoned in a sort of Norse purgatory, the player will have to invoke and kill creatures of increasing strength until he earns the keys to Valhalla. It starts practically from scratch, at the center of a procedurally generated world full of pitfalls as well as surprises, for an adventure in which up to ten players can participate at the same time. The development pushes them to create villages with friends, to trace roads to move the materials necessary for construction and sustenance, and even to explore the seas fighting against dragons and visiting islands that will turn out to be actually huge giant tortoises.
There is much more to Valheim, but its history is also interesting for another reason, its success could prove to be the spark that ignites the growth of a new software house, Iron Gate, which with its four employees created the game, and the explosion of a team that seems not to miss one, the Coffe Stain Studios which they published it. It is often forgotten that today’s greats such as Epic, Bethesda, Id Software, were in turn the little ones to be looked upon with suspicion from the past. Coffee Stain, in its short history, is not doing one wrong, first of all as a developer and now, thanks to Valhein, also as a publisher. they were in turn the little ones to be looked upon with suspicion of the past.
Coffee Stain, in its short history, is not doing one wrong, first of all as a developer and now, thanks to Valhein, also as a publisher. they were in turn the little ones to be looked upon with suspicion of the past. Coffee Stain, in its short history, is not doing one wrong, first of all as a developer and now, thanks to Valhein, also as a publisher.
The biggest success of this Swedish team is called Satisfactory, where one or more players are called upon to build increasingly complex factories and assembly lines, in a sci-fi context full of pitfalls. Satisfactory is one of those extraordinary titles where logic, creativity, great problem-solving skills, as well as a certain amount of courage are required rather than the easy trigger.
The typical intelligent game that looking at the charts never seems to find a place among the best sellers, but instead collects a huge following among the digital shelves of the most popular e-stores. Coffee Stain and Iron Gate thus become perfect examples of that sort of dark side of the moon which for the masses all PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox do not seem to exist, but which instead often hides the most precious gems that this medium can offer.