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A mature, story-driven, turn-based strategy game steeped in viking culture, by three game industry veterans.
A mature, story-driven, turn-based strategy game steeped in viking culture, by three game industry veterans.
A mature, story-driven, turn-based strategy game steeped in viking culture, by three game industry veterans.
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20,042 backers pledged $723,886 to help bring this project to life.

The Banner Saga: Factions is live!

A time of reckoning is upon us. All of us at Stoic are proud to announce, after burning the midnight oil for many moons, that beta has ended for The Banner Saga: Factions and soft launch is today!

What does that mean? In industry terms, soft launch is a short period in which a game is finished and complete, but released to a limited public.

Also, it is a thank you to our generous and wonderful backers to get a head start on the release build of the game. Your progress is being saved this week and carries over for the official launch.

There are some special perks available this week only, and every backer has a special green jade stone shown on your combat emblem that is exclusive to backers and early access players that are yours forever.

From Feb 18th - Feb 24th Factions will be available exclusively to backers. The current characters, stats and rankings have been wiped for the last time and the game is essentially now LIVE, along with a fully functional tutorial. Later in the week we’ll be holding the first tournament exclusively for backers.

Factions will be released to the public on Feb 25th. If you’ve been waiting for beta to end before trying the game, this is your week.

With Factions’ launch, we’ve effectively worked out the thick and thin of combat and we’re soon on to travel and conversation outlined in the previous update, and thus, the single player campaign. Consider this the first major milestone on the road to success!

From all of us here at Stoic, Skal!


If you haven't been added to Factions yet but would like to get involved, you're always welcome. Please head to our forums and create an account using the same email address as your kickstarter account. That's all you need to do, and we'll send out keys and instructions on how to get the client on a regular basis (they won't arrive instantly!)


Crests will be uploaded in the single player game (we may add it in Factions earlier than that, but not immediately).


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    1. Missing avatar

      T Da Silva on March 6, 2013

      I really hope the single player game end up better than Factions, which so far has been a pretty boring experience. It might seem ok in the beginning but then you try out the other tier 2 classes and see how underwhelming they are. I really miss magic-based classes and abilities with really interesting effects as opposed to just different ways to break armor and strength.

    2. Bryy Miller on February 28, 2013

      "I guess alot of us just didn't expect EA/Activision level of micro transaction milking from an independent kickstarter project which already accumulated over 700% of their required funding. /shrug"

      Indie companies need to make money, too.

    3. Bryy Miller on February 28, 2013

      Just played four matches.
      I must say that the pacing and the chat system makes for great fun. I just had some amazing and quaint conversations with my foes. Like playing chess with an opponent.

    4. Jordan York on February 20, 2013

      I agree with the comments about the marketplace being a bit pricey, but that simply means I won't be buying anything. Having just started, and it being a backer-only release, I find myself matched against much more powerful opponents often. I assume this issue will be fixed once it's released to the public and we acquire a larger player base.

    5. miguelito on February 20, 2013

      Yes, people do like to complain when they've actually invested money and goodwill in something.

      Withholding judgement though until we see the single player mode. Honestly, I fully expect some sort of cash shop, maybe just colors or maybe indirectly, such as paying to level up your troops in MP and then importing them into SP or something. Those prices are really telling.

      But let's wait and see.

    6. Martin Kramer on February 19, 2013

      Please allow me to add a short example: the eternal renown bonus nets you 3 extra renown per battle. That equates to about 0.09 € (at the moment, and basing the calculation on the 200 renown package). As the thing costs about 15 €, I'd have to fight 166 battles before it even pays off (compared to just buying the renown itself).

      I don't know whether you'll be able to attract a hardcore crowd that does a few battles every day, but seeing as battles take about 30 minutes each, I doubt that the eternal renown bonus will ever be worthwile for an average customer. I still wish you all the best and hope the Factions spin-off works out, but it really is a little disappointing seeing such extreme prices on a game you looked forward to. It basically means you either make a serious committment to playing the game seriously everyday, or you're not going anywhere fast.

      At the moment, I believe, the design not very casual-friendly. By this I mean it might discourage those Banner Saga fans who mainly want single player, but are not opposed to letting the day fade with a short multiplayer battle - it'll be no fun for them, just a grind.

    7. Missing avatar

      Andrew Houghton on February 19, 2013

      wow. people like to complain, huh?

    8. Martin Kramer on February 19, 2013

      I just wasted 8 of my 30 renown on mis-understanding that you'd have to pay renown just for juggling already existing stat points around on a character. I though renown could be used to buy extra points, but alas, you pay for every reconfiguration, and if you make a mistake you have to pay twice.

      I'd gladly send a few bucks in your direction, but the prices are outrageous. That you're able to buy tangible in-game advantages with money (such as the starter set or an eternal renown bonus, which is as expensive as many current non-AA video games) doesn't make me very happy.

      Maybe you might want to reconsider your pricing. I'm not against F2P per se, and I'm mostly interested in single player, but I believe if you curb the prices a little (and *then* give a discount to backers) you might even earn more overall. I don't know whether you have actual MBAs calculating the optimal balance of pricing and demand, but if those are just shots from the hip you should maybe consult experts.

    9. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 19, 2013

      Cheers for the update. I too didn't think microtransactions in Single player made any sense, but that was before Dead Space 3...
      Just a bit of a shocker to see it there is all; after the tutorial told me I could earn renown from non combat at the market that's NOT at all what I was expecting.

    10. Stoic 2-time creator
      on February 19, 2013

      Hi everybody! Thanks for the wonderful comments! We've been watching and playing the game alongside everyone and having a blast.

      Don't worry if you hate f2p games, for two reasons: the single player game has no microtransactions (that doesn't even make sense), and there's nothing in Factions you can't get by just playing. Exccept for a couple color variations. Don't pay unless you want to support us. We're using the revenue to pay for salaries.

    11. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 19, 2013

      TheChosenOne, huh your right, It is on the main page video....along with some guy saying "I can't think of anything more boring then doing something for the sole purpose of making money" at 3:14.
      I guess alot of us just didn't expect EA/Activision level of micro transaction milking from an independent kickstarter project which already accumulated over 700% of their required funding. /shrug

      As long as this stays the hell away from the game proper though - I don't actually care as I have no interest in this little multiplayer gimmick.

    12. Joachim on February 19, 2013

      While I really love the game so far...the graphics, animations, sound and most of all battle, I really do not like how the market is handled. 5$ for colors(!) for one(!!) class? Come on. The discount is a mock since it is to high anyway. And to buy higher classes and boosters for renown for money is a game breaker.

      Please be so fair and have to highscore lists: for the "buyers" and the "achievers". Otherwise a highscore makes no sense where I can buy me better troops.

      And I really hope cash transactions will stay completely away from the single player!

    13. miguelito on February 19, 2013

      PS.: Jeime, it's a fallacy calling such things "microtransactions" - the "micro" originally referred to sums from a few cents to less than one cent. In today's games they're straight purchases, nothing micro about them.

    14. TheChosenOne on February 19, 2013

      People who didn't know that factions whas the online part or thst there would be microtransactions haven't been following this project very well. Even the first video mentions part of this, and updates and the FAQ cover the rest.
      The blame for not knowing and beeing dissapointed lies entirely with you, knowing else I can say about it
      I for one ofcourse knew i had to wait for a long time, esp. When the project did so well you know they have to take more time to implement all the features which came along with thre stretchgoals.

      Typed on my ipad btw so error above... Yea ;)

    15. miguelito on February 19, 2013

      I seriously hope cash transactions will stay completely away from the single player.

    16. Missing avatar

      Jeime on February 19, 2013

      First off, congratualtions on getting to the release version. The combat system itself appears to be very solid, the graphics and animations are for most part gorgeous, music is fantastic. The biggest downer for me at least is the way the developers chose to handle the miscrotransactions. I understand that this is a so-called f2p sideproject which is aimed first of all at a) providing a steady revenue stream for the developers & b) getting a wider audience interested in The Banner Saga. Although the whole concept of microtransactions rubs me the wrong way as it's almost always aimed at milking the consumers there is a more sensible way to implement them limiting all payments on cosmetic stuff. However, that is not the case here: the main currency - renown - can be directly bought, and it is required for such core stuff as advancing units, etc. Plus the the prices in the marketplace are way over the top at the moment.

      I am admittedly more interested in the single-player game, the real Banner Saga, but was looking forward to Factions as well. The way the devs handled the so-called f2p (not even speaking that the whole concept is basicly a marketing ploy) with implementing costly microtransactions is just wrong. I expected better, sorry. At least I hope it will all help to facilitate the development of the singleplayer game.

    17. elmiko on February 19, 2013

      Echoing what a few others have brought up here.

      Will I be able to receive the final product without registering at your forums?

      I keep track of all my kickstarter activity through this site, I am not interested in signing up at your forums.

    18. Céline .S. Sauvé on February 19, 2013

      Best of luck to those playing Factions.

    19. David Ang on February 19, 2013

      hey guys how do we get the game?

    20. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 19, 2013

      Checked out the ingame marketplace.... micro-transactions...?! really?! Ugh.... Think I'll put this one down, and wait for the proper, actual single player game.
      Like the gameplay so far from what little I played of that throne room tutorial however; cant wait for the proper release.

    21. ☜☆RSF☆☞ on February 19, 2013

      I've left my run a bit late - but just registered on the forum... looking forward to getting a key and going at it!! Awesome work Stoic.

    22. Missing avatar

      Christoph Mäurer (deleted) on February 19, 2013

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    23. Maxim Bardin on February 19, 2013

      When will the Linux version be ready?

    24. Hemisphere Ormsby on February 19, 2013

      great, ive linked the correct email now as per instructions, now awaiting my steam key.
      cant wait to play and upload the crest or ORM!!!!

      great stuff guys congratulations on this milestone!

    25. Angel Andrés Cataño Flores on February 19, 2013

      Wow, just had a couple of rounds now. And being that I haven't played since stage 2 or 3 of the beta, I have to say, it's looking awesome, very much indeed!

    26. Missing avatar

      vamp1r0 on February 19, 2013

      Sooo, does it means that we will get the full game any time soon?

    27. SinoSamba <(-'.'-)> on February 19, 2013

      Love that there is an opening sequence now. And the Stoic logo :)

    28. peshk on February 19, 2013

      Nice that you make this much progress.
      I would like to know, if it is still only steam and I have to wait, or if it is possible to get a hold on the game without using steam.

    29. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 18, 2013

      Yeah I signed up earler, just got my key then. Though posting this from work so I'll give it a go tonight. Just dug through all the updates and found one where they explain factions (Don't know how the heck I missed that email back in October) thanks :)

    30. Missing avatar

      Piotr on February 18, 2013

      So how do I actually get into this? I haven't been really involved since I pledged in the beginning, so how do I get a forum account / steam key / game download / what have you?

      Peter C

    31. Eric Leslie on February 18, 2013

      Stephen -

      They've been talking about Factions here on the backer updates since July 2012. It's not like it's a new thing. It also isn't "just multiplayer."

      Why don't you go get your Steam key from the forums and check it out? I mean, it'll take you all of 5 minutes of effort.

    32. Missing avatar

      Frank kluk on February 18, 2013

      I don,t seem to be able to get on your link! I used my email and password won,t let me in. Keeps tell me to contact admin,

    33. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 18, 2013

      Hmm is there a faq or something as to what "Factions" means. I assumed - being that the game is broken into 3 parts - that factions is what they had called part 1.

      Guess I was mistaken. Still would have been nice to clarify that factions means multiplayer only or atleast mention it atleast somewhere in the update.
      Guess I have another year or so of waiting.

    34. Missing avatar

      Alex Mellar on February 18, 2013

      Quick question; is the beta version of the game updated to the full version or do I have to wait for a new key?

      Also, to Stephen Delvecchio, the title does say that 'Factions' is live, not the full game.

    35. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 18, 2013

      Wait just saw on the forums that this is only the multiplayer? (something myself and I imagine many others have no interest in)

      And that the actual singleplayer campaign is still a ways off..? I guess I have very different interpretations of what "live" means. :(

    36. Missing avatar

      justin on February 18, 2013

      Gratz on finally launching guys. Though im having a problem I made a factions account almost four months ago and still haven't received a key or anything.

    37. Stephen "Stoibs" D
      on February 18, 2013

      Thought I would chime in and say I too imagined these steam keys/download links would either be emailed out to us or sent Via Kickstarter's Private message function.

      Guess we all have to arbitrarily make an account over on those forums that we will likely never use....

    38. Robert Sjoblom on February 18, 2013

      How do I get access to all that stuff then? I should have had access to beta, but was too busy to figure it out at the time.

    39. Missing avatar

      clinton voigt on February 18, 2013

      its ready! so are we getting an email for the game download link? or do I have to sign up for forums to get the game?

    40. Missing avatar

      Philip Daay on February 18, 2013

      Congratulations. To us backers, it seems like yesterday when you put up the Kickstarter. :)

    41. Clare Jones on February 18, 2013

      Congratulations! And great job on the tutorial, not to mention the awesome intro cinematic!

    42. Missing avatar

      Mick on February 18, 2013

      Any word on the Linux release? Was it coming a couple of months after release? (Not trying to snark - I really don't remember).

    43. Laurent Maire on February 18, 2013

      Wow, congrats guys.

    44. Luis Bermudez on February 18, 2013

      Oh wow! It's already here! You guys are working too fast!
      Great job, guys! :)

    45. Ron Phillips on February 18, 2013

      At the top of of your Steam window, click Games -> Activate a Product on Steam, then enter your code.

    46. William Barnes on February 18, 2013

      Where do you find this on Steam? I have a key but am clueless on where to find the donwload. Tried typing on banner saga on the Steam store but nothing.

    47. Ron Phillips on February 18, 2013

      I used the steam key that was on my profile that I just registered for. That's the right one, right? It's downloading on Steam right now.