Amnesia: The Bunker developer Frictional Games is looking to cut back on horror game development “to focus on other emotional elements.”
talk to 80.lvFrictional’s creative director, Thomas Grip, echoed the sentiments of fellow horror studio Bloober Team, who also recently announced a departure from traditionally known games.
“All our games have been horror in some way, but what we’re really trying to do is get some kind of playable immersion,” Grip said. “We want to offer players some kind of immersive fantasy. [World War 1] Soldiers trapped in bunkers and robots left behind on the ocean floor.
“Horror games naturally push emotion to the fore. Games are very good at this, but we are also looking for themes beyond spooky.”
Gripp explained that Frictional has made games with non-horror themes, such as caring for a fetus in Rebirth and the idea of consciousness in SOMA, but simply packaged them into a horror setting. “It’s not about horror, it’s about the overall fantasy that we deliver with each story,” he said.
“I think future projects will see a bit less horror elements in order to focus on other emotional qualities. I am confident that these games will still feel like games from Frictional.
Bloober Team, developers of the upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake and other horror games like The Medium, Blair Witch and Observer, made a similar announcement in June. However, the Blubar team said they were moving away from psychological horror to something more “popular” rather than leaving the genre entirely.
Frictional has been a huge success in the horror genre, with their latest release Amnesia: The Bunker being praised by fans (with a 92% ‘very good’ rating on Steam) and critics.
In an 8/10 review, IGN said, “Amnesia: The Bunker is a smaller, more self-contained episode in the groundbreaking horror series that shows that Frictional still has some chilling new tricks up its sleeve.”
Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance reporter for IGN. He will talk about witchers all day long.