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Dead Cells developer working on two dormant ‘massive’ franchises

Motion Twin has teased that the studio is putting its own unique spin on two dormant game franchises.
Dead Cells by Motion Twin, in a crossover with Castlevania by Konami

Roguelite action platformer Dead Cells has continued to see sustained success since its release in 2018, with the title making its way to several platforms, and enjoying many content updates, including a Castlevania-themed expansion in 2023. In an interview with GamesIndustry, developer Motion Twin not only announced the series has sold 10 million copies to date, but also revealed it’s working on two new titles based on third-party game properties.

Motion Twin CEO Steve Filby revealed that Motion Twin has signed with ‘two third-party IP holders to make the next instalments in… really massive video game franchises.’ While Filby didn’t name them, he remarked that ‘the IPs that we’re working on have been dormant for quite some time.’

The GamesIndustry story reveals that the first of these titles will come out in Early Access format in 2024 – Dead Cells was also initially released in Early Access, suggesting that the format may involve repeatable or roguelike elements, with more features and mechanics gradually being added as development continues.

The second title is planned for 2025, with no other details being shared.

Filby was sure to state that Motion Twin’s approach to these legacy properties ‘will be different.’

‘You can’t offer what was previously offered,’ he said. ‘You have to make a game for today’s audiences. You can’t expect your crappy jokes from the ’90s to work with today’s audience.’

‘[The IP holders] gave us the creative freedom and the cash to make this thing and we’ll go away and do something awesome with it, and come back and hopefully have a game that’s gonna resonate with people today, while still bringing to the forefront the strong elements of the IP.’

Given the recent Dead Cells crossover with Konami’s long-dormant Castlevania franchise, which added themed levels and items to the game, it’s natural to assume that Castlevania itself could be the subject of a dedicated game from Motion Twin. Both the series and Motion Twin have clear strengths in the 2D platforming genre.

Elsewhere, publishers like Square Enix have in the past called for third-party developers to create new experiences with their legacy properties, via its Square Enix Collective division for independent games – though its previously offered IP like Fear Effect and Gex fell under the realm of Eidos interactive, which Square Enix sold to Embracer in 2022.

Once-popular platformers like Capcom’s Mega Man, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Strider, and Bionic Commando are all possibilities, as are Konami’s Contra, Sega’s Shinobi, and perhaps even Epic Games’ Jazz Jackrabbit. Of course, this is all speculation until Motion Twin reveals more.

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05/16/2024 02:36 am GMT

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran