‘The Cycle: Frontier’ producer has “bet career” on making extraction shooters more welcoming
Matt Lightfoot, lead producer for Yager’s extraction shooter The Cycle: Frontier, has told NME that he has bet his career on cracking an Escape From Tarkov-style extraction shooter that serves casual audiences.
While a number of games and game modes – including Battlefield 2042‘s short-lived Hazard Zone mode – have tried to create a more welcoming version of the extraction shooter genre popularised by hardcore shooter Escape From Tarkov, none have found the same success as Tarkov‘s Battlestate Games.
“I thoroughly enjoy Tarkov, but I also think it’s a very fair point to say that’s not aimed for a casual audience,” Lightfoot tells NME. “It’s meant for people that can learn all the weapons, that can fundamentally know all of the really quick routes, and can identify another player’s location based on their audio.”
“What we want to do with The Cycle is make sure that this awesome gaming experience […] is also appealing to a more casual audience on PC that isn’t currently well-served by extraction shooters. We’re able to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to have fun in that, and for me, that’s where I see the gap in the market. That’s where I think that it’s very difficult for other extraction shooters to be able to reiterate themselves into that gap without compromising their core vision.”
Lightfoot added that he “absolutely” thinks The Cycle: Frontier can be the first game to successfully crack that formula and bring it to a wider audience.
“That’s my hope – my dream. That’s what I’ve bet my career on,” said Lightfoot. “That’s why I made the move to Berlin, that’s why I’m here.”
“I feel that The Cycle has all the tools at its disposal,” the producer continued. “It has a really dedicated team, really supportive management and we’ve got the backing of Tencent. [Tencent is] taking on some really big bets in the online space as well, and when we look toward the future of The Cycle, we’ve got some really cool features that [..] Appeal to a casual audience as well.”
However, The Cycle: Frontier experienced a rocky launch when it released last year. Acknowledging that, Lightfoot attributed its disappointing opening months to “painful and horrific” cheating issues, but explained that it is now in a “pretty good state” thanks to a number of sophisticated anti-cheat approaches.
As the game’s third season approaches launch, The Cycle is looking to remove wipes — a staple from other survival games that wipe all progress, in an attempt to keep players on relatively even footing.
When asked if Yager has any concerns that removing wipes will remove opportunities for fresher players to get into the game, Lightfoot said “there are concerns and we’re taking several steps to be able to mitigate this,” but added that it’s ultimately a change made to keep casual players in mind.
“For the majority of players who have families, jobs and real-life commitments, [wiping] doesn’t work. By removing the wiping economy, we’re giving normal people a chance at being able to get to our endgame and the really cool content.”
“This way, we’re actually able to hopefully solve some of the problems we’ve had in the long run as well,” he added, explaining that Season 3 will also make it more expensive to run high-tier gear and introduce more endgame content.
Set to launch on March 29, Season 3 of The Cycle will also introduce the Howeler, the game’s first flying enemy, as well as new weapons.
In other gaming news, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been updated to include Source 2, sparking more rumours of a Counter-Strike 2 beta.
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