The Long Dark Update and Patch Procedures


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Hello Community,

The Long Dark is available on many different platforms and stores, and each one has its own specific rules and processes which impact the timing around when we are able to get game updates out to you. We thought you might find it interesting to know what the specific process and timelines tend to be for the platform(s) you play on!

In general, our policy around The Long Dark is to always strive to simultaneously ship major updates on all platforms, even if this means delaying on one platform. This allows all our players to feel like they are part of the same community when major updates launch. 

For hotfixes, which tend to be urgent in nature, we always release these as quickly as we can, even if that means not everyone gets them at the same time.

Defining Updates and Hotfixes

We use specific terms for different types of releases for The Long Dark. 

Updates are generally releases of content, whether new Survival Mode items, Regions, or mechanics, or Episodes of WINTERMUTE, or the necessary game changes for an in-game event. We do our best to always release these major updates on all platforms at the same time (unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way!)

Hotfixes follow after an update and are aimed at addressing bugs, performance issues, or other small changes to the game between larger Updates. Often Hotfixes contain emergency fixes to crashes or compatibility issues that only become obvious after an Update is played by a huge number of players across many different systems, much more than we can test internally. While we try to release Hotfixes on all platforms at the same time, there are a number of variables that may impact each platform's release timing. We always release Hotfixes as soon as they are available on each specific platform.

The Long Dark Release Process

Both Updates and Hotfixes pass through the same process to be released to players. Each platform has their own procedures which can affect delivery time.

The following terms are important to understand:

Internal Testing: Hinterland’s internal Test team tests the new version of The Long Dark.
Upload: the new version of The Long Dark is uploaded by Hinterland to the platform holder (ex. Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.)
Internal Platform Owner Checks: various checks and QA (quality assurance) tests run by the platform owner (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, etc.) after they receive the new version of The Long Dark.
Publish to Store: the new version of The Long Dark is passed from the platform owner (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, GoG) to players. It may take some time for your local platform server to update with the latest version.

PC / Mac / Linux

Upload -> Internal Testing -> Publish to Store by Hinterland

Internal Testing -> Upload -> Server Processing -> Publish to Store by GoG

Xbox One:
Internal Testing -> Upload -> Internal Platform Owner Checks -> Publish to Store by Microsoft

PlayStation 4:
Internal Testing -> Upload -> Internal Platform Owner Checks -> Publish to Store by Sony

Nintendo Switch:
Internal Testing -> Upload -> Internal Platform Owner Checks -> Publish to Store by Nintendo

What Affects Update Times?

A release may come out at different times on various platforms for various reasons though we try to minimize this. A few reasons that this may occur are:

  • A release is platform specific so it only includes fixes for issues encountered on one platform and is not released on other platforms.
  • A technical issue delays the release on one or more platforms.
  • Each platform has their own timelines and criteria for publishing an update which can affect when an update reaches players.
  • Updates are pushed out globally and roll-out depends on where servers are located. This means your location in the world may have an impact on how soon you see the update arriving on your local system. It also means updates may take several hours to propagate globally.

Steam is generally our primary development platform and allows us to release our latest directly to our Players. Thus even when we release an update on all platforms at once it will generally arrive on Steam first. As you can see from the above breakdown, all other platforms require those specific platform-owners to release to their own stores which can impact timings.

We hope that this information will provide you with some insight into how The Long Dark’s Updates and Hotfixes are released and when you can expect the latest version on your favorite platform.

Thank you for your continued support of Hinterland and The Long Dark.

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