Pete Samuels, managing director at Supermassive Games, recently sat down with gamesindustry.biz to discuss the company’s recent sale to Nordisk Games, a Danish multi-media company. Supermassive is known for their branching narrative horror games, such as their ongoing episodic series, The Dark Pictures Anthology, their most recent The Quarry, and the hit PlayStation exclusive that put them on the map, Until Dawn.
This interview shared a lot of relevant information for those curious about the studio’s future post-acquisition, but one of the most noteworthy sections was when Samuels goes into the company’s plans for future games. He first states the studio’s commitment to continuing its current prolific trajectory where they have multiple annual releases. Samuels relays that the studio is currently 300-strong, and is looking to expand that number to 400 in a year. Not only that, they already have a roadmap where they know what their releases will be for the next “five or six years.”
“Those releases,” Samuels continues, “are largely geared around growing our audience, which means they require an amount of innovation.” Though they are committing to staying within their known style of story-heavy horror, they are looking for diversification in the types of games they make, their plan being to grow across platforms, genres and media.
They still want to concentrate on creating great stories and great characters, with choices and consequences being integral components of their games. They will also still focus on darker premises, with “death and fear” being common themes for their games, however, Samuels affirms that they could make this work outside of the horror genre, sharing that “there’s certainly conversations we have on a regular basis about what we might do [next].” He speaks of future games possibly having different mechanics, but that even if the industry would classify it as a different game genre, “it has to obviously be a Supermassive game.”
Samuels also explains how they feel they aren’t hindered by their acquisition, but strengthened by it. He says they still consider themselves independent, as Nordisk Games is not a publisher, so they can work with any publisher they want and release titles on any platform they want. Samuels goes on that they never felt pressure to sell but decided on a deal so they could further invest in the previously mentioned expansions.
This idea of Supermassive innovating with gameplay mechanics is particularly notable, as it would mark a deviation from all of their mainline console games ever since Until Dawn. Their games are often not mechanically intensive with exploring and quick time events being their bread and butter.