Call Back Later: Hotline Miami 2 Releasing Q3 2014

I anticipate an additional 27 games that shamelessly imitate Hotline Miami's style and aesthetic between now and then

When I first learned of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number’s existence, it was set to storm into our lives armed with nothing but a pool cue and the steely resolve of someone who’s died in the same room, like, 58 times in a row at the tail end of 2013. It is now the tail beginning of 2014, but still the storied hotline goes straight to the answering machine. So then, when will we finally get to feel deeply uncomfortable about gruesomely killing a whole mess of people again? Try mid-to-late 2014.

Developer Dennaton made a characteristically terse announcement on Twitter:

“Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will launch in Q3 2014. Act accordingly. New stuff, old stuff, weird stuff and violent stuff all converging with some surprises. Should be worth the wait.”

So that means sometime around July, August, or September. But will it be worth the wait? Will it really? Seems like a pretty outrageous thing for a game developer to say about its own sequel to one of the most acclaimed, nearly perfect breakout successes of 2012. I’m suspicious, naturally.

But seriously, I’ve sent a mail to Dennaton to find out why Hotline Miami 2 has managed to slip so far into the sadly not-neon-psychepink future, and I’ll let you know if I find out anything. Perhaps the game has expanded its scope markedly since I last saw it. Maybe Dennaton has spent months making the doors somehow even better. Or maybe, well, there were certain story elements that at least warranted a little rewiring, if not outright removal.

All plausible reasons for delay, certainly, but I’m going to assume the real reason is that they’ve decided to replace all the blood with geysers of unkillable kitties. They cascade from fresh corpses, and the world immediately becomes a quantifiably better place.


  1. altum videtur says:

    Dennaton seems like the kind of guy who’d have little enough self-awareness and common sense and perfectly sufficient arrogance to not change a damn thing about *controversial thing*, or make it even more of a *controversial thing*.

    Which should make everything far more interesting to watch with a side of POPCORN.
    I shall await the unfoldation of things with the zealous pettiness of really sad people.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      I fail to see why he has to change anything. It is his game.

      • Cheese Wold says:

        Sadly the world isn’t that simple. There have always been movements that attempt to suppress artistic creation in order to strengthen their own ideologies. From the Iconoclasms, to the Nazis, to The Comics Code; the idea that art must be controlled for the good of society is ever present.

        • KevinLew says:

          Thirty years ago, racism was so commonplace that racist humor was compiled into compendiums and sold right next to Peanuts comics in book stores. Today, jokes making fun of stereotypes of minorities are no longer publicly acceptable. As a minority myself, I certainly don’t miss them. But by your standards, this is just gross censorship. To me it’s called a society trying to improve itself and evolving over time.

          Contrary to what young adults think, there’s no such thing as unlimited freedom of speech and there never has been. You can claim that you’re free to say what you want with no consequences, but people have lost their jobs based on comments on their personal Facebook page or Twitter feeds, even if what they said was unrelated to work.

          • Cheese Wold says:

            Kids these days!

            Can we change racists by banning them from telling jokes?

            I know that society is against freedom of speech, I know that people get sacked for saying the wrong thing, even if it is just a joke about dongles. I don’t like it though!

        • Eddy9000 says:

          Oh come on now. No one was talking about banning anyone’s expression, the dev included a certain scene, which he was free to do, other people expressed their negative opinions which they are free to do, the dev may or may not be moved by these and act on them. This is an exchange of ideas, not censorship. Even within the muddled idea that people have an absolute right to free speech (they don’t) this is nothing less than a free exchange of speech. Freedom to express yourself also means that others are free to express their opinion on what you have expressed, you can’t have it both ways.

          Now the reason that there is no such thing as “freedom of speech” is that there is no right to “freedom”. I am no more free to shout “ive got a bomb” on a plane than i am to punch a stranger in the face. The whole point of civilised society is that certain actions are necessarily restricted. John Stuart Mill’s ‘Harm Principle” that underpins western notions of law and justice advocates that freedom of action can be ethically restricted only where these actions restrict the liberty of others. This is why promoting racist and homophobic views is illegal in many countries, as the public expression of these views is thought to restrict the freedom of these groups to exist safely and enjoy the same rights as the wider population. And yes, banning racist comedians is part of a process that reduces racism, it is a show by the state that marginalising ethnic groups is unacceptable, it prevents racist ideas being propagated and normalised as entertainment.

          • Geebs says:

            To be fair, there are still more countries that suppress homosexuality and racial integration. Also, the reality of repercussions from speech (shouting “bomb” on a plane) isn’t strictly the same thing as a lack of free speech. By overgeneralising your argument I’m afraid you weakened it to the point of irrelevance.

            To whoever said “if you don’t want to be criticised don’t ever actually do anything” – how does that help anybody?

      • Randomer says:

        Maybe they reevaluated their artistic vision and came up with a better one. It’s not as though they initially stumbled across the platonic form of video games, and now they are being forced to compromise on their ideal.

        Imagine you are a stand-up comedian. You come up with a brand new set of jokes, you tell your friends, and most of them say “Not very funny”. Should you refuse to tweak/adapt/change your gig to get a better reception, or should you stand by your original artistic vision? Fear not – if you choose to stay the course, there will be a few kind souls at there that say, “I commend that man for keeping at it! Good for you, sir, for not giving in to the movements that attempt to suppress artistic creation in order to strengthen their own ideologies!”

        • Cheese Wold says:

          Say you are a gay comedian and you perform an explicit set about casual homosexual sex for a group of fundamentalist Christians. They are not amused and all tell you that you should change your routine or they will try their best to sabotage your success…

          This whole thing isn’t about improving something, but a clash of ideologies. One group thinks that artistic expression can be used to explore uncomfortable topics, the other thinks that if someone feels uncomfortable about that expression then it should be changed until they no longer feel uncomfortable.

          The latter is typified with Kat Bailey’s article about Castlevania where she explicitly states that it made her feel uncomfortable so she hopes they change it.

          • tobecooper says:

            Have you read the original articles?

            Here’s Cara describing her feelings about playing the demo on Rezzed:
            link to

            Here’s response from Dennaton:
            link to

            To use your metaphor, the fundamentalist Catholics explained in detail why they found the comedian’s set uncomfortable. If he intended to offend, he’d tell them to bugger off into the night while making sexually offensive remarks. If he didn’t, he’d tell them he’ll work on the joke setup to make it better, because he doesn’t want to weaken the effect of the punchline.

    • Nim says:

      I shall be sorely disappointed if anything has been removed due to outside pressure. I was hoping to see what the fuss was all about.

      • st33dd says:

        I was exhibiting at Rezzed and outside of the “Adults only” section was the Hotline Miami demo, complete with “press space to rape” cutscene. So showing kids rape and killing is okay if it’s pixel graphics apparently.

        On top of that – a lot of blokes simply don’t understand that simply mentioning rape is a big no no for anyone that’s been raped. Pretty much like a lot of blokes don’t understand privacy issues because they don’t have to deal with stalkers (you ugly fucks).

        It’s okay that you don’t get it. Just accept that some people have shittier lives than you do and don’t want to be reminded about it.

        • Nim says:

          I hope that by “you” you are generalizing men rather than targeting me specifically because you do not know me or what traumatic experiences I might have been subject too.

    • The Random One says:

      He also seems like the kind of guy who has enough common sense and self-awareness to change a controversial part of his game, should he feel the controversy is his intended meaning. Either option is well within his prerogative as the creator, and I find it troubling to support one of them over the other, as if you had a better understanding of unreleased media than the guy making it.

  2. A-Scale says:

    I hope we get something more like a story this time and not just interesting set pieces.

    • Volcanu says:

      Really? Hotline Miami is one game where a story is more or less redundant in my view. I enjoyed the immediacy and the flow of the game, adding in exposition and a plot would quite likely detract from that.

      • A-Scale says:

        Agree in part. Either story or don’t. Don’t give me a half assed explanation in the last 2 minutes of the game.

  3. aliksy says:

    People who value “freedom of speech” but don’t want others to criticize are weird and wrong.

  4. Bull0 says:

    Yeah, it’s definitely because of you and your twitter echo chamber overreaction to that one thing.

    Jokes aside, I’m optimistic about the delay, while the plot and theme made a very quick sequel timely at least it did sound a little hasty and under-developed, and rarely has a game been more deserving of an excellent sequel than hotline miami

  5. TreuloseTomate says:

    Killing people in video games makes me feel uncomfortable. I hope they change that mechanic in HM2.