Veteran developers from Embark Studios explain the unlikely inception of The Finals


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In the competitive world of free-to-play shooters, The Finals from Embark Studios has rapidly emerged as a formidable contender, captivating over 225,000 players on Steam during its launch week. Surprisingly, the journey of this fast-paced, destruction-driven shooter began with a team reluctant to tread familiar ground. This article delves into the transformative journey from initial hesitation to creating a unique gaming experience with The Finals’ unlikely inception, keeping players engaged and streaming numbers high.

The inception of The Finals is a story of unexpected turns. Initially, the team at Embark Studios, filled with industry veterans from the Battlefield series, considered the idea of another shooter “boring.” In an interview with Game Informer, creative director Gustav Tilleby revealed how the team’s past with high-caliber shooters made them hesitant to dive into what seemed like familiar waters. However, through regular game jams and pitching sessions, the notion of creating a unique shooter that stood out from the rest began to take shape.

Tilleby shares that the team’s dedication to creating something distinct led them to reconsider the shooter concept. They aimed to design a game that wasn’t just another addition to the genre but a standout title that offered players something new. This led to the foundational approach of making The Finals. This game would leverage environmental destruction and offer a fresh twist to multiplayer shooters.

The game distinguishes itself with its fast-paced action and the dynamic destruction of its maps. Players can expect their environment to change drastically as they blow holes through walls and level entire buildings. This ever-changing battlefield is a direct nod to the team’s experience with the Battlefield series, known for its environmental interactivity. It’s not just about the destruction; it’s about giving players the agency to shape the battlefield to their advantage, creating a unique and personal experience with every match.

Embark Studios’ approach to developing The Finals was grounded in a commitment to player agency and systemic gameplay. Tilleby emphasizes empowering players to solve problems creatively within the game’s sandbox environment. This philosophy drove a long period of prototyping and playtesting as the team worked to perfect a formula that would resonate with players seeking a deep, engaging experience.

As for the future, Embark Studios is cautious but optimistic. They’re focused on maintaining the game’s integrity, keeping servers cheat-free, and continuously delivering new content to keep the community engaged. Rather than committing to an extensive roadmap, they prefer to promise only what they can deliver, ensuring that The Finals continues to grow and evolve based on a sustainable and player-focused strategy.

For more help tackling The Finals’ arenas, check out How to use arena carriables, the best classes in The Finals, and check out our The Finals review for our thoughts.

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