Hades II is a sequel from a studio that didn’t make a sequel

Melinoë and a witch companion look up at the moon.

Screenshots: Super Giant Game / Kotaku

When I play fortress In high school, this was the first time I felt that American video games could be art. Most of the games I know are openly interested in how efficiently I can kill a living creature or their color palette is a horrible mix of brown and gray. fortress Stands out as a beautiful dungeon crawler with a good soundtrack. I also get the same bonus for buying the next release of Supergiant Games, transistors. Its poignant visions of astigmatism kept me crying in my college dorm until 5am. I was heartbroken when I realized that neither of these games would ever get a sequel.

The developers previously stated in interview that they don’t want to make a sequel for the money. “I don’t know if we will ever return to the world of [Bastion]although if we do it will be at a point where the team wants to do it more than anything else,” said Supergiant writer Greg Kasavin. Eurogamer. “It can’t just be a financially motivated decision because that’s not the way fortress created from the very beginning.”

“Supergiant is not making a sequel,” has become a lifeline for fans who had hoped that their favorite game would receive more love and attention. Supergiant is better than the crass studios that are making “unnecessary” games for money. Making commercial art has always been about compromise. These developers seem to be the rare creative team that goes above and beyond those petty concerns. Fans admire them for that and hope that this streak of rebellion will continue as long as the studio produces the game.

Then Supergiant released Hell in 2020, a roguelike broke all previous sales records of the company, reached a million copies sold almost immediately after it moved from Early Access to full release. It has received global critical acclaim (it Metacritic current score is 93) and has the flashiest prize tour any indie game could hope for. This is undeniably the most successful game the studio has ever released, redefining the roguelike genre. Not only is this a fun and stylish game—it also shows that American developers can find mainstream success in two stigmatized genres: Visual novels and roguelikes. In addition to gaming, this is the first video game to win the award Hugo Award. Hell is the shining star not only of indie games but also arguably the creative potential of all video games.

Even so, the myth of the Super Giant without a sequel is still popular. Many of the most dedicated fans simply didn’t think that such massive mainstream success would change the ethos of a studio that values ​​art more than recognition or money. So it came as an utter shock arrive much (including Kotaku employees are watching trailers at the office) when Hades II was announced in Game Award.

Hades II – Revealed Trailer

Most Hell fan was happywhile some Supergiant fans also love this game demoralized at what they see is a start from the studio independent spirit. Both the gameplay and the story seem to be the same Hell, that’s not how studios usually approach game design. Even the name seems to be an overt surrender to the realities of marketing, like this tweet suggestions. If the developers of the original bold pyre able to succumb to the lure of money and succeed, what hope is left for the rest of the gaming industry? Last night was not just a celebration of Hades II. It’s a time of mourning for fans who have held Supergiant to an impossible standard.

Even Official FAQ Because Hades II nod to this concern:

With each of our projects over the years, we’ve made it a goal to take on a new challenge that expands our team’s creativity and teaches us more about how to make games good. beautiful together. One of the challenges we’ve considered for a long time is trying to make a sequel that somehow recreates the feeling of awe and excitement of the previous one. Some of our all-time favorite games have achieved this! The question is, can we?

The snippet sheds light on Supergiant’s official stance on sequels. They will make a sequel if they find the challenge creatively satisfying enough. The game definitely looks like the first game Hell, but it doesn’t even have a release date yet. Despite the impressions given by the reveal trailer, it’s entirely possible that the feel of the game will be very different from the first game, or that it will be filled with surprises and innovations that we don’t know. see coming.

How about not? What if developers simply settled on an IP that would reliably print money? I think that is good. That doesn’t mean developers will never work on their own original projects again. Supergiant prides itself on self-funding and possibly financial stability from Hades II will allow them to create another new world. Every indie game you’ve ever played has been shaped by its financial circumstances. The fact that developers don’t advertise which features are cut for budget reasons doesn’t mean those cuts and compromises don’t happen. Even the classic Supergiant titles you love are always plagued with dirty money. That’s why they play so well and look great.

Kotaku contacted Supergiant to inquire about the success of Hell contributed to the decision to make a sequel and received no response at the time of publication.

The mega-game is held to a high standard because of the way it presents itself to the public. Marketing content is conversational, community strategy relies heavily on word of mouth, and the studio is very careful about limiting public appearances. But the studio is not a band formed out of someone’s garage. Its co-founders are veteran developers at EA and fortress to be published by entertainment giant Warner Bros. Connections and money have always been a core part of what makes Supergiant games so successful. Does it detract from the artistic achievements of those games? Absolutely not.

But it’s important to understand what it really means to be an “independent studio”. It’s meant to exist in a volatile space where developers don’t know if their employer will be around in a few years. It means giving in and pretending that they are all intentional. That means carrying the weight of soul art in the game even if you never asked for it in the first place. And I don’t think it makes sense to force a studio to stick to rigid expectations based on how a developer feels about their game in 2012. Ten years have passed and the game industry has changed. significantly different from then. Supergiant doesn’t need to carry the creative torch. There are many interesting and unique games created by bad studios that you have never heard of. It’s time we try to explore some of them instead of holding the Supergiant in vain expectations.

There does not exist an independent studio independent of the material circumstances of the industry. So I don’t mourn what Supergiant Games could have had. I’m glad I got the chance to play a game like transistors at all. It’s always a miracle that the Supergiant has lasted this long. Some studios seem to work more miracles than others. I just hope that Hades II continue to be one of them.


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