Introducing theHunter: Call of the Wild

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Dear hunters,

We wouldn’t be here without you, our community. For that reason we want you to be the first to hear our big news, possibly the biggest to come out of Expansive Worlds, ever. Next year we will be releasing our brand-new game, theHunter: Call of the Wild, offering you a visually breathtaking, technically groundbreaking, hunting experience.

What is theHunter: Call of the Wild?

Over the past 7 years, theHunter has grown and evolved at an astonishing rate. It’s been amazing to see the game – not to mention the community around it – thrive. We’ve introduced new species and reserves, weapons, equipment and gadgets. Meanwhile, gameplay, graphics, sound, animation, AI – literally every aspect of the game, has been continuously improved.

A few years ago, we started thinking about what was next for our hunting and outdoor gaming platform. We were – and still are – committed to supporting theHunter like we have in the past, but also wanted to build something new using all the experience and technical expertise that we’ve accumulated over the years. Our new title, theHunter: Call of the Wild, will stay true to the core gameplay of the original game, but will also include new features and challenges.

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At release, theHunter: Call of the Wild will be a next-generation hunting experience, bringing rich and vast open worlds to hunters and wildlife enthusiasts around the world to explore. Our objective is to grow it into something even more immersive, engaging and fun over time. We have worked hard to create a unique gameplay experience by adding deep environment immersion, creating a strong connection and interaction with various kinds of wildlife, and offering a wide range of in-game activities motivating players in both single- and multiplayer. Last but not least, we’ve added an extensive tutorial element to make the the game more accessible to those who are new to hunting, offering them a helping hand on their way to bagging that trophy.

Perhaps the single biggest difference between the original game and the new one is the change to the business model. theHunter: Call of the Wild is not going to be a free to play game, but a one-time purchase which will be supported and evolved together with the community for a long time to come.

theHunter_cotw_fallow_deer

To give you a glimpse of what awaits, we are inviting you to sign up for a closed Beta session of the new game. You can do that on the official theHunter: Call Of The Wild site, where you will find more information, including some stunning screenshots and news for you to follow the development through to the release of the game in early 2017.

theHunter: Call of the Wild is built on cutting edge technology, in the shape of Avalanche Studios’ brand new Apex engine, and requires a powerful PC to run. This also means higher system requirements when compared to what you are used to with theHunter. You can find all the technical details in the Beta sign-up section.

What does this mean for theHunter as we know it?

Simply put, we have no plans to sunset our most successful game to date. theHunter: Call of the Wild offers a different kind of hunting experience, which we think is complementary to the theHunter experience that we have all grown to love. theHunter is valuable and deeply cherished by all of us. We are committed to the product and community and we hope to see it grow and evolve even further in the future. In fact, the roadmap of 2017 is packed with cool, highly requested features, and we can’t wait to spill the beans and hear what you think!

logo_greyHaving said that, some things will inevitably change. For one, the name. Adding a bright new title to the franchise got us thinking about how to make both games feel different and at the same time a part of one theHunter family. So, we’ve decided to rebrand theHunter into theHunter Classic. We chose that name because of what it signals; a timeless hunting experience. Newer, shinier games and technologies may emerge, but that doesn’t mean theHunter Classic is going out of style, it’s one of those games that you always keep coming back to. You’ll see the Classic brand more and more over the next few months.

Secondly, today we are releasing a new landing  page acting as a gateway to both games, dubbed theHunter.com – the Home of Online Hunting Games. You will be able to log in to your theHunter account from there as you are used to, so there will be no additional hassle.

Lastly, theHunter Classic ship will get a new captain. Philipp Strecker, whom you got to know in the last year as our brilliant producer, will now move on to lead the development and live operations of theHunter: Call of the Wild, and his place will be taken by Alena Rybik, who has been our highly regarded Community Manager for the past three years. The two teams are separate, but are looking into various possible synergies that can bring value to both games, and to the franchise as a whole.

We are sure you have lots of questions at this point and we will do our best to answer what we can in theHunter Classic forum and the official theHunter: Call of the Wild forum on Steam.

We are looking forward to this new adventure together and we are counting on your loyalty and support, both for theHunter Classic and theHunter: Call of the Wild. Thank you for all these years and here’s to many more!

Yours,
Expansive Worlds team

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Attention – Game Installation Unavailable via thehunter.com

Currently it is not possible to install the game via the launcher downloaded from the website (www.thehunter.com).

This is an issue we are working on and will fix within the next day.

Players who have the game already installed will not be affected.
The Steam version is not affected and can be played (or reinstalled).

We are sorry for the inconvenience and will keep you updated once the fix is available.

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Game Update

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Changes

  • Whitetail Deer and Pheasants are now free to hunt for guests
  • Mule Deer will no longer be free to hunt for guests (Effective as of 3rd February 2016)
  • 12 GA Single Shot Shotgun is available for free for all guests
  • All 12 GA ammo is free for guests
  • First two tutorials now feature Whitetail instead of Mule Deer
  • Whitetail Missions and Mule Deer missions have changed places, so that in the old Mulie missions you now hunt Whitetails and vice versa
  • Updated localization
  • Reduced the max distance (150m -> 75m) at which the dog wants to return to the player after been given a “stay here!”  command.
  • Abort going towards the player if we tell the dog to stay, except when the dog is returning with an animal.
  • When exiting the ground blind, the dog will now exit at the position that the dog entered from.
  • Dog should now orientate towards a corner when exiting and entering a ground blind.
  • Community video tutorials are now visible on the website
  • Updating local community websites

Bug fixes

  • T-posing when using certain weapons is fixed
  • If the dog somehow fails to retrieve the animal that animal will be removed as a target for fetching
  • When the player is in a tower or ground blind the dog will go towards that item when trying to reach the player
  • If you issue a “stay!” command to your dog, the dog will stay still until you walk outside the maximum stay distance or give another command. Previously issuing a “sit!” or “lay down!” command could cause the dog to run to the player.

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End of support for Windows XP and Vista

This announcement contains important information for players running Windows XP and Vista. As it has been announced, our support for these old operating systems will cease on March 3rd, 2016. If you are likely to be affected by this change, we are offering you three options:

  1. Upgrade to Windows 7 or higher. If you choose to do so, you will receive all your lost membership days back. For Windows Vista users it will be 30 days, for Windows XP users it will be all days from October 7th, 2015 until the day you upgrade. If you choose to do so, please contact our support.
  2. If by March 2016 you will have more than 1 month of membership time remaining, you can apply to transfer your membership days to a player of your choice. If you choose to do so, please contact our support.
  3. If by March 2016 you will have more than 1 month of membership time remaining, you can apply for a monetary refund (details on refunds are below, please note that for some payment methods refunds are not possible, in which case you can only choose to transfer your membership time).

Please note that only unused membership days can be refunded or transferred, bought items and / or em$ can not be refunded and / or transferred.

Refunds

The possibility and processing of refunds depends on the platform and payment method which you used to pay for your membership. The table below shows a detailed breakdown of the most common options. If you can’t find your option in it, please contact the seller through which you bought your theHunter membership and inquire regarding a possible refund with them. Please note we can only honour refunds for payments made directly on our site via our partner Paymentwall, where the selected method of payment supports refunds. Our partners (such as Steam and retail outlets) may have different refund policies and you should always check with them.

Payment methods on Paymentwall

  • Credit card – Refundable
  • PayPal – Possible, depends on your own conditions with Paypal (apply on PayPal)
  • Webmoney – Refundable
  • Yandex Money – Possible
  • Alipay – Refundable
  • PagSeguro – Refundable
  • FanaPay – Non-refundable
  • Qiwi Wallet – Refundable
  • Admeris – Refundable
  • Sofort – Refundable
  • Directpay – Refundable
  • Przelewy24 – Refundable
  • Giropay – Refundable
  • SanalPara – Refundable
  • Transferencia Bancaria – Refundable
  • SafetyPay – Refundable
  • iDeal – Refundable
  • Poli – Non-refundable
  • transferuj – Refundable
  • MINT – Non-refundable
  • Paysafecard – Refundable
  • Onecard – Non-refundable
  • Neosurf – Non-refundable
  • TicketSurf – Non-refundable
  • Webmoney Japan – Non-refundable
  • Boleto – Refundable
  • Openbucks – Refundable
  • Evroset – Non-refundable
  • Svyasnoi – Non-refundable
  • PagoFacil – Non-refundable
  • Rapipago – Non-refundable
  • Efecty – Non-refundable
  • Davivienda – Non-refundable
  • Mobiamo – Non-refundable
  • Allopass – Non-refundable
  • Fortumo – Non-refundable
  • Daopay – Non-refundable

You can apply for a refund / membership transfer starting from January 21st, 2016 until June 3rd, 2016. Please note that if you apply for a refund / membership transfer, you will lose all your membership days and it will be irreversible, even if you choose to upgrade at a later point.

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Introducing Tobii Eye Tracking in theHunter

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As we’ve mentioned in one of our status updates, we’ve partnered with the Swedish company Tobii to bring their sophisticated eye tracking system into theHunter and with today’s game update that integration is finally live!

From now on, if you have Tobii’s nifty EyeX gadget, you can control certain aspects of the game by moving just your eyes. The camera will pan to what you are looking at, which will bring a new intuitive experience when scanning the terrain for animals to hunt. It is even possible to raise your weapon with your eyes. Using traditional controls (keyboard and mouse) you navigate the same as always, except now, as you look to the left of the environment so will your character – all without breaking stride. This is called ‘Infinite Screen’ because no longer are you restricted to the size of your monitor to explore the territory freely. As a player, not only do you feel more immersed in your environment, you now have the ability to become more aware of your surroundings as you explore the unknown.

You can customize the EyeX settings in the Options menu in-game to make it behave exactly as you want. Note that these options are only visible if you have the EyeX connected with the relevant drivers installed (for any hardware-related issues please contact Tobii support).

Here’s how one theHunter player who has been helping us to test eye tracking describes it:

“The Eye Tracking software was a great surprise – it was technology that I wasn’t sure about initially, but I ended up really liking it the more I used it. It’s very configurable and aiming by closing one eye is really immersive to the entire hunting experience. Watching the view move as I scanned my peripheral for animals really makes you feel like you’re actually there, and helps keep track of any animals you may have otherwise missed as you walk around. Waterfowl and pheasant hunting is a blast with this technology, and makes leading them a bit easier as well. One of my favorite experiences with it was soon after I first got it up and running, had jumped into Whitehart Island, and was tracking a herd of Roosevelt Elk – sitting motionless both in game and in real life, and having my view change to follow them without touching anything was incredibly immersive and fantastic, and I found myself holding my breath in real life.”

You can purchase your Tobii EyeX here for just $99 (regular price $139) using the code TheHunter. When playing theHunter with Tobii EyeX installed for the first time, you’ll receive a special Tobii Eyemaster membership bundle bundle which includes a 14 day membership, 12 GA Pump Action shotgun, Male Mallard Decoys, Waterfowl Blind and a Sneaky 3D Summer Swamp outfit.
Happy hunting!

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Introducing the new species in theHunter – Non-Typical Rabbit!

Howdy hunters,

When we introduced the Non-Typical Antlers for Whitetail Deer back in January, we promised to add them for any other animal for whom it makes sense as well. As this feature was highly appreciated by the community, we’ve decided to enhance the Non-Typical portfolio of theHunter species and today we’re happy to present its next instalment – the Non-Typical Rabbit! You can hunt it in Logger’s Point, Settler Creeks, Bushrangers Run and Val-des-Bois, hope you’ll enjoy it!

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Introducing theHunter: Primal

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Dear Hunters,

In a few weeks we will be releasing a brand new standalone product called theHunter: Primal.

Since we highly value our close relationship with all the players of theHunter, and are planning to continue working in this way in the future, we would like to give you a little insight and background to this project. It started off with a couple of our interns playing around with our engine, but has grown into something much bigger. Angrier. Hungrier. We call it theHunter: Primal.

In the last couple of years we have received numerous requests to add dinosaurs to theHunter. We’ve always felt that a game around hunting dinosaurs in a Jurassic environment could potentially be a lot of fun, but also worried that it would undermine the realism and credibility of theHunter, qualities that made many players fall in love with the game.

Even within the studio, dinosaurs has been a frequent topic of discussion. It really took off as a small breakout team started creating a dinosaur game as a side project, working after hours and over weekends. Avalanche Studios and Expansive Worlds management supported the initiative and offered the group of enthusiasts to use the Avalanche Engine that you know and love from theHunter, as the official development platform.

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The project as a testing ground

As you might have noticed from our regular updates, we actively support game development educational institutions. We have a long term commitment to several post graduate schools in Sweden and our aim is to have interns from these schools on our team at all times. In fact, many of the current EW staff started as interns and were then hired full-time.

theHunter: Primal, internally also known as “Project Flintastek” (ask a Swedish friend), has become an excellent side project for our interns to dig into, with some help and support provided by mentors from the full-time EW staff. This collaboration has become a safe isolated development environment where new items and gameplay features were born and tested. In fact, some of the findings from this project have inspired new additions to theHunter.

Since everyone who touched the project in one way or another seemed to be really enjoying it, we thought it would be a shame not to give it the extra love it deserved and release it to the general public. So, in the last few months a part of Expansive Worlds, with some help of Avalanche Studios and our interns, have been working to create a first playable version of the game. We’re happy to report that it will be released on Steam before Christmas.

We know how passionate our players are about theHunter, and that there might be some concern that this new project will overshadow it. We are here to put your worries to rest.

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Our continued commitment to theHunter

theHunter is still the priority of Expansive Worlds. It has been enjoyed by over 4.5 million players from more than 190 countries since its release in 2009. Many of our staff members joined the company specifically to work on theHunter and further improve the most realistic hunting experience ever made. During the last five years, theHunter has grown from its initial 3 species and one reserve (Whitehart Island), to feature 8 immersive reserves, 20 species, 41 different weapons and more than a hundred different pieces of hunting equipment – and we are not even close to being done!

Having such a great community behind us, with several thousand new hunters joining each day, Expansive Worlds is committed to theHunter for many years to come. There is still so much that we would like to add to the game, not only in the form of new equipment, species and reserves, but also brand new gameplay features to enhance the hunting and wildlife experience even further.

theHunter: Primal is a side project for the Expansive Worlds studio, that will be released as a one-off payment product, in contrast to theHunter which is a service featuring continuous development and expansion. We hope that theHunter: Primal will complement the regular hunting experience of some of our players, as the game is a little more fast paced and has more focus on survival and exploration. Not to mention hunting (or in fact being hunted by) dinosaurs.

During the development of theHunter: Primal we’ve made discoveries and created content that we believe may benefit theHunter, in the future, including:

  • Revamped high quality player models
  • A significant overhaul of the environment audio system
  • Improved intra-species communication
  • Improved intra-species interaction
  • Improved animal behaviour including better attack behaviours

We are looking forward to your continued feedback and ideas related not only theHunter but also its newly born (and very cranky) little brother or sister, theHunter: Primal.

As a theHunter player, you’ll receive a special offer on theHunter: Primal. Expect to hear more on this later.

For news and updates on theHunter: Primal, make sure to like it on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Happy future dino hunting!

Expansive Worlds staff

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Introducing the new theHunter launcher

With an aim to make theHunter more unified and intuitive, we’ve carried out an overhaul of our launcher and added new functionality and a completely different look.

The new launcher will look like theHunter.com website, with everything but the Downloads tab available and accessible from within. This means you will be able to log into the new launcher as you would to the website, and navigate the web interface (store, profiles, stats etc.) while it downloads and installs the game / patches. Clicking on external links will open your default browser. You will still be able to log into theHunter.com website, as usual. The new launcher will have a different background image, for you not to confuse it with the actual website.

With the new launcher installer available on the Downloads page, you will be able to create a shortcut, so you won’t need to access the website at all to start a game. It’ll be possible to do so from within the launcher by clicking the Hunt Now button which will open the drop down menu with Singleplayer and Multiplayer game options, currently available on the website. The Hunt Now button on the website will also be adjusted; instead of showing the drop down menu, it will now open the new launcher.

The new launcher will be released tomorrow, on May 28th 2014. You won’t need to download it separately, it’s going to be available as a part of our regular patch. If you run into a problem when installing the update, try to download and reinstall the launcher from the Downloads. For launchers older than 6.2.2 the installation wizard will open, in that case just click the Next button until the installation is done.

Here are some screenshots of the new launcher:

New Launcher New Launcher extracting New Launcher Full Download New Launcher Full Download 2 New Launch Patch

Looking forward to your feedback on the new launcher and happy hunting!

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T-Rex on theHunter.com: What really happened

Dear Hunters,

On Saturday night two images of a dinosaur appeared on our home page announcing that T-Rex is a new species in theHunter. Those images were not official and were posted by an unauthorized person. Thanks to the community, we discovered them quickly and took them down. The developers responded immediately and, following a thorough investigation, the issue was resolved within a couple of hours.

A community member and player had discovered a slight security loophole in the method we use to add banner images to our main page and, instead of reporting it to the Expansive Worlds team (as required by our Terms and Conditions) he used it to add those unauthorized images. We know the personal details of the culprit and the necessary legal actions against him will be taken. (Legal actions will be taken for violating paragraphs 10, 13, 20, 21, 22 of our Terms and Conditions which the player agreed to when registering at theHunter.com.) We want to thank those members of the community who helped us to identify the player.

To reiterate, this minor vulnerability was only affecting one small web-function for posting images and had nothing to do with the game itself or our database, hence we were not hacked. As far as access to sensitive data is concerned, no one has had any access to our database or our data in any way, thus you can be sure that your account details have not been compromised. To address the password question which has been touched upon numerous times in the community over the weekend, all passwords in our database are safely encrypted. Another important concern we want to reassure you about is that we never store any payment details on our servers. All payments are handled by our payment providers exclusively, so your details are safe.

A detailed technical description of what has happened:

The method for adding a banner image on theHunter.com is a part of our web API. One of the authentication layers of this API was missing, making it possible for someone to post an image by using a certain URL with some parameters added to it. The URL for adding banner images was guessable for someone determined enough to find it, and in this case the culprit would have had to make a HTTP POST request towards the URL in question, adding the title, link, image and so on, as parameters. Authentication has now been added to prevent further exploits.

We completely understand the security concerns that were raised in the community following this incident, however we want reassure you that it’s only one small web-function that had a vulnerability and we’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure nothing like this can happen again in the future.

Best regards,

theHunter team

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Sneak peek: Ultimate hat for the ultimate goose hunting experience!

Howdy Hunters,

As you know, we’ve always been striving to make theHunter the most realistic hunting game ever, so we thought you’d share our sheer excitement about the release of a new item, which is going to bring genuine, cutting-edge realism to your goose hunting experience.

This video is just a sneak peek for you to know what we’re up to, the actual release date will be announced soon.

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