"Arcade is dead," Housemarque said in January following poor sales of its latest arcade shooter Nex Machina (which was a very, very good game). After years of focusing on shoot 'em ups like Resogun and Dead Nation, the Finnish developer was on the hunt for a new genre—and it appears to have settled on battle royale.
The developer showed off a quick teaser for its next project, a multiplayer game called Stormdivers, during Reboot Develop 2018 today. The video gave little away, but an interview with Eurogamer after the presentation filled in the blanks. "You can compare it to a lot of the multiplayer experiences you have now," said head of publishing Mikael Haveri, who was then asked whether Stormdivers was a battle royale game. "That's a very good assumption," he said.
"Right now we are saying it is multiplayer. It's a very competitive environment, specifically with those types of titles. How can you even compete? We know what we do and we've been making something for quite a while. Hopefully it will be able to compete."
Asked for more details on the game, he said: "Most of your expectations and first ideas [your hunches] will probably be on the money. It's fast, very gameplay-centric.
"We hope when people pick it up they start feeling good. We want there to be adrenaline, we want them to be moving, we want them to be really getting into it—a fast experience where you have to go outside and take a breather from it. Couple that with visual flair; you play Resogun, you see all this stuff exploding and going off—that's what we're bringing to the multiplayer. This is a Housemarque take."
The team have been working on the game for two years, and it might be out before the end of this year, but Haveri said the team are "not in a hurry to push it to market before it's done". "Hopefully still this year but maybe, to be cautious, we shouldn't say it's going to be this year," he said. Keep an eye out.
Watch the developer's short presentation in full below.