After making the scariest game I've ever played, Amnesia's developer is considering moving on from horror

Our hero in the dark
(Image credit: Frictional)

In an interview with (spotted via Eurogamer), Frictional Games creative director and co-founder Thomas Grip revealed that the studio is considering de-emphasizing horror in its future projects, instead using its distinctive immersive, first-person style to tell other kinds of stories.

"Horror games naturally are where emotions are front and center," Grip explained. "However, we are also exploring themes outside of making things spooky.

"For future projects, I think we will cut back a bit on the horror aspects in order to give greater focus on other emotional qualities. I am confident that these games will still feel like Frictional ones. The immersion, the personal journey, and a holistic vision are what I see as defining traits of a Frictional game⁠—not just horror as such."

Frictional has a long history of first person horror games stretching back past Amnesia, with the Penumbra series being its first major success. While that history makes a potential turn to other storytelling priorities a bit of a shock, it kinda has me more excited than ever for what comes next.

While Amnesia was a revelation back in 2010, I could take or leave its run-and-hide horror after a few entries. I love sci-fi spinoff SOMA and 2020's Amnesia: Rebirth more for their high-concept stories and tactile, living environments than the bits where I'm chased by a nasty guy.

Even this year's Amnesia: The Bunker feels more like an exception that proves the rule to me. It's now one of my favorite horror games, period, with an incredible setting, terrifyingly intelligent monster, and hardcore, old-school resource management, but it only pulled that off by breaking sharply with Amnesia series tradition. I mean, The Bunker gives you a gun. I say let Frictional cook and see what else the studio comes up with.

We reported back in February that Frictional creative director Fredrik Olsson let it slip that the studio is working "on a bigger project that you can say has much more of this kind of philosophical stuff like you saw in SOMA." Apparently that project is also being headed up by none other than Thomas Grip⁠—is this yet to be formally announced game where we might see a move beyond horror play out?

A January narrative design job posting from Frictional wanted someone who "loves sci-fi and horror," so who's to say what ratio of spooky to "something else" Frictional will settle on for this next project and what comes after.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.