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News video games 28 November 2023, 05:30

author: Adrian Werner

'Age of Walking Sims is Over;' Says The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Dev

The Astronauts debuted with a warmly received walking simulator, but the head of the studio believes that the time of this type of games is over.

Source: The Astronauts. Screen z The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

Adrian Chmielarz from The Astronauts gave an interesting interview to Gamingbolt, in which he referred to the current condition of so-called "walking sims", i.e. games based only on exploration and following the story.

  1. According to Chmielarz, "the days of walking simulators are over." That's why The Astronauts decided not to create another game of this type, despite the success of its debut, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Instead, the team began work on the shooter Witchfire.
  2. Chmielarz explains that walking simulators can deliver excellent stories, but the shelf life of such projects is short. The devs found this type of game too simple and lacking in variety, so they sensed that their time would come to an end.
  3. The choice of the FPS genre for the studio's second project was obvious, as the people employed there had previously developed such shooters as Painkiller or Bulletstorm at People Can Fly.

It's hard not to agree with Chmielarz's assessment. The last few weeks in particular have painfully shown that players have become severely bored with walking simulators. It is enough to mention the flop of The Invincible. Its creators, by the way, have learned from this, so their next project will be a game from a different genre. Judging by the activity results, another failure was Fort Solis, where there wasn't much gameplay either.

An explosion of joy during the reveal of Witchfire

The changing taste of gamers was already evident at The Game Awards show in 2017, where Witchfire was announced. When the text "the game from the creators of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter" the crowd sat quietly, as the project seemed like another walking simulator. Moments later, when a character pulled out a gun and a caption appeared on the screen announcing that they were also the creators of Painkiller and Bulletstorm the crowd exploded with joy. If up to this point the developers had any doubts about the decision to switch genres, the presentation of the first trailer has definitely dispelled them.

It is also worth noting the financial problems of Telltale. Although the team does not create walking simulators, their games also focus on story and choices, with a symbolic amount of gameplay. So it seems that players are bored with games without gameplay and now expect that a good storyline will also be accompanied by interesting challenges. Among games relying only on narrative, only visual novel-type adventure games have not lost the sympathy of players.

Witchfire went on sale in Early Access on September 20, this year. The Early Access phase will be carried out exclusively on PC. Currently, the game is only available on Epic Games Store.

  1. Witchfire on Epic Games Store
  2. The Astronauts - official website

Adrian Werner

Adrian Werner

A true veteran of the Gamepressure newsroom, writing continuously since 2009 and still not having enough. He caught the gaming bug thanks to playing on his friend's ZX Spectrum. Then he switched to his own Commodore 64, and after a short adventure with 16-bit consoles, he forever entrusted his heart to PC games. A fan of niche productions, especially adventure games, RPGs and games of the immersive sim genre, as well as a mod enthusiast. Apart from games, he devourers stories in every form - books, series, movies, and comics.


The Invincible

The Invincible

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