Sorry, Subnautica fans. As someone who played, completed, and loved both games; I’m just as disappointed to hear about this as you all are. Unfortunately, though, we’re not going to get the third installment anytime soon. Certainly not this year. Here’s why:

Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Next Game: Not Subnautica 3

Concept art of Project M from Krafton.
Can’t see how this could be a strategy game, but unfortunately, we can see it’s not Subnautica in the slightest.

Back on February 10, 2022; PC Gamer announced Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s next game. In fact, it would be their first game after Krafton (PUBG: Battlegrounds parent company) acquired them back in October 2021. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be the third installment in the Subnautica series. According to PC Gamer, it’s going to be “a turn-based strategy game set in a sci-fi world” for PC and mobile.

We still don’t know much about this game. Krafton calls it “Project M” in their FY2021 financial report. Unknown Worlds recently filed a patent at the USPTO for a game called Moonbreaker, which seems like an interesting coincidence when looking at Project M. Moonbreaker could very well be this game’s title, but that’s just speculation for now. As for what this Project M game would look like, the only clue we have is from the sole piece of concept art depicting a punky sci-fi city Krafton released to the public above, so there’s not much there. Unknown Worlds wants to make the game have an “easy-to-learn, hard-to-master’ formula…that is fun to watch others play”, which suggests that they want this to be a popular streaming game.

However, all of that isn’t important to us Subnautica fans. The only thing that is important is that this Project M game is clearly not another entry in the Subnautica series. Not in the slightest. Not only that, since Unknown Worlds plans to release this Project M game in early access later in 2022, this means that we definitely will not see Subnautica 3 this year. Maybe not even next year, given how long it takes to develop any game. However, there is hope.

A New Hope For Subnautica 3?

"Subnautica: Below Zero" key art.
The original new hope for fans.

On the exact same date PC Gamer released their article about Project M, Unknown Worlds Entertainment had a surprise for us. On their Twitter account and on their official website, Unknown Worlds announced that they were looking for a lead programmer to “help the team build the tech for our next game in the Subnautica universe”. You can, in fact, apply for the position right now, as of this writing.

Maybe it will even be a better job than what Fred has.

Unfortunately, Unknown Worlds gives zero details about this next Subnautica game. Not only that but with them still hiring for a lead programmer, any such game will take a long while before it’s ready. Fortunately, though, this tidbit of news confirms Unknown Worlds isn’t abandoning the Subnautica franchise. There will be another game taking place in the series. Maybe not on 4546B itself, if the ending of Below Zero is any indication. But at some point in the future, we will get Subnautica 3. It’s really only a matter of when.

Source: PC Gamer, USPTO, Twitter, Unknown Worlds