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Subnautica 2 sneakily confirms co-op is coming at long last

Get ready to dive into the depths of Subnautica 2, which will finally deliver the multiplayer co-op action fans have been desperate for.

Subnautica 2 multiplayer reveal: A diver posing as if he's floating against a backdrop of blurred gameplay. Two purple controllers are shown to the right, suggesting co-op features.

February 8, 2024 Unknown Worlds has cleared up information shared in Krafton’s earnings report, including that the next Subnautica game will not be releasing in 2024. This article has been updated to reflect this.

Under-sea survival game Subnautica became a flyaway success on PlayStation and Xbox after its initial PC release, expertly weaving survival crafting mechanics with horror elements in a unique setting. Well, new information officially confirms Subnautica multiplayer co-op support for its upcoming sequel, which appears to be titled Subnautica 2.

Buried in publisher Krafton’s latest earnings report, Subnautica 2 is revealed as a “multiplayer sequel” to the hit survival game using Unreal Engine 5 to create a “stunningly realized” oceanic world. More interesting than that, however, is that Subnautica 2 is designed for “single or 1-4 player co-op”, making use of a “Game-as-a-Service model with enhanced replayability”. Given the success of its predecessor on console, Subnautica 2 is expected to release on PS5 and Xbox.

Responding to media coverage and fan reaction to the information in the earnings report, Subnautica developer Unknown Worlds has now released a statement clearing up some of Krafton’s wording.

It confirms that while co-op will definitely be in the game, it is “not multiplayer-focused” – like previous games, the new Subnautica will still pride itself on being an immersive single-player experience. It also clarifies that Krafton’s “Game-as-a-Service” description refers to the ongoing support that will be provided to the game after launch, rather than a radical change towards a live service content model.

“No season passes. No battle passes. No subscription,” Unknown Worlds says.

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Krafton’s previous earnings report covering Q3 2023 suggested that the new Subnautica – which at that time was unconfirmed to have multiplayer support – would be coming in 2025. However, this latest earnings report for Q4 includes the game in Krafton’s lineup of “strategic titles for 2024”. Many interpreted this to mean that it’s release date has been brought forward to this year – however, Unknown Worlds says that’s not the case.

“Early Access is not intended for release in 2024, but we plan to share a lot more information later this year!” the studio says.

So, while you will sadly still have to wait until 2025, there’s still plenty of good news here. The addition of multiplayer co-op support will make Subnautica 2 one of the most anticipated new PS5 games and new Xbox games of next year – and hopefully, one of the best games out there when it does eventually release. Fans have been crying out for the feature ever since the first game launched in the mid-2010s, so it’s great to see Krafton delivering.

Plus, those understandably skeptical about a multiplayer-first, live service approach to Subnautica can now rest easy following Unknown Worlds’ clarification.

While we wait to find out more about our next aquatic adventure, make sure you’re up to spend on the major changes going on in the console space, as three major Xbox exclusives are coming to PS5 according to a wave of recent reports.