“That isn’t how we like to design games.”
It might be a little hard to believe, given just how good the game is, but Dead Cells is actually the first major, full fledged game that indie development studio Motion Twin has ever made – their first “proper” game, so to speak. That’s not to say they’re newcomers. They’ve been around for almost two decades, but before Dead Cells, they were strictly making games for mobile systems, or online platforms, all of them free to play with a few having premium services.
So what changed with Dead Cells, a drastically different, strictly conventional Metroidvania roguelike title? Well, according to Motion Twin communications manager Joan Blachere, that entire process of collecting data on players’ behaviours, retention, and spendings, and then designing games around that information just wasn’t something they wanted to do anymore.
“Motion Twin shifted to mobile when the market for browser games collapsed,” Blachere told GamingBolt when we recently conducted an interview with him. “But, building mobile games based on data like a player’s behaviors, retention, and spendings isn’t how we like to design games. The company took a big risk when we moved away from the mobile market, which for all its faults was providing us with a sustainable business. We traded that relative security for the ability to develop a game that we wanted to play.”
And it certainly seems to have worked. Dead Cells has been widely acclaimed by one and all, and it’s fair to say Motion Twin’s risky manoeuvre has paid off. But what about the future? What do the coming months and years hold for Motion Twin? Well, for now, they’re going to stick to supporting Dead Cells with post-launch content, both free and paid. “There will be some free content to begin, as promised to the community as a thank you for having brought us where we are today,” Blachere told us. “Then, we need to sit down with the community and have an honest discussion about more potential additions to the game, the interest for them, and economic model surrounding them.”
“We will keep working on Dead Cells for a bit,” Blachere said when we further asked him about what’s next on the docket for Motion Twin, “then begin discussing and prototyping the next project.”
You can read our full interview with Blachere here. In it, he also spoke of the controversies surrounding loot boxes, and how he’s been pleased with the pushback against the concept. Read more on that through here. You can also read our review of Dead Cells here.