People Can Fly Flies Again, Still Owns Bulletstorm

a person who can fly top right, albeit unwillingly

Polish studio People Can Fly made well-received OTT shooters Painkiller and Bulletstorm, then they got bought by Epic and became Epic Games Poland, and now suddenly they’re independent and are People Can Fly again. I’m genuinely distressed that they didn’t take the opportunity to name themselves People Can Fly Again. No cast-iron reason has been given for the regained independence and there is, as yet, no sign of conflict, but the official line is that it’s “to reflect the team’s desire to create their own games.” PCF confirm to us that they retain the rights to Bulletstorm, but sadly there’s no talk of a sequel as yet.

Epic are apparently supporting them in this move, and plans are afoot to keep making stuff together, including continuing their work on Fortnite. People Can Fly are also planning an ‘entirely new, unannounced game’, which would seem to imply it won’t be another Painkiller or Bulletstorm, but we shall see.

If PCF wanted to make another Bulletstorm they could, however: Studio director Sebastian Wojciechowski tells me that “BS IP has been always with PCF so we didn’t have to buy it.”

In a blog post about the apparently amicable conscious uncoupling, PCF write that “We are lucky that Tim Sweeney as well as Epic’s board and its executive team members are fair and honest people and allowed us to reach for our dreams. Moreover, in parallel to working on our new game, we continue to partner with Epic and use UE4 so we couldn’t be happier. For those who may have forgotten about us – we were the team behind Painkiller, Gears of War and Bulletstorm. Our DNA is AAA shooters and we’ve just started a journey to bring you our new game. So please stay tuned.”

They’re making another shooter, then. Whether it’s a shooter with a familiar name we don’t yet know.

Of course, the iiiiiiiiiiinteresting part of all this is that a significant creative element of People Can Fly as was, including Bulletstorm lead Adrian Chmielarz, as-was is no longer with the studio, having spun off to form The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter developer The Astronauts in 2012. Whether this means forthcoming People Can Fly projects will feel suitably like older People Can Fly projects thus remains to be seen.

Good luck to everyone involved, if this is indeed as chummy a turn of events as it seems.

34 Comments

  1. gunny1993 says:

    Maybe this time no GFWL so i can actually play it, bout 4 times ive downloaded it got to the menu, tried to get shit for shitdows shit to work and given up in frustration.

    • kyrieee says:

      Whenever there’s a problem with GFWL you usually need to launch it externally. The in-game version is broken as shit.

      • Jalan says:

        Whenever there’s a problem with GFWL, we need to remember that it’s 2015 and unless the developer can virtually do nothing about its presence, it shouldn’t be there.

    • KevinLew says:

      People Can Fly should just rip out GFWL from Bulletstorm. This alone would probably increase game sales.

      In a totally unrelated rant, I cannot believe Microsoft still says that GFWL is supported. It’s a rotting corpse laying around their Windowed living room, but they don’t want to get rid of it. They would rather have it stink up the place because every now and then somebody pokes the body with a stick. “See, that’s a user that really likes it!”

      • epeternally says:

        I’ve been holding off purchasing because of GFWL and I’m sure I’m not alone. It might only net them a few thousand new sales, but it would also be a major gesture of good faith to people who already own the game as well. Definitely seems worth it.

  2. Oasx says:

    Bulletstorm is one of my absolute favourite FPS games, happy to see the team back on their own.

    • Skeletor68 says:

      Fully agreed. Loved Bulletstorm. Thought it was very underrated. Would love a sequel!

  3. Lobotomist says:

    Probably last FPS game that I played start to finish. Amazing art and gameplay.
    Glad to see they are considering sequel

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I wish I was one of these people here saying these things. But GFWL…

  4. Legion23 says:

    I would love to see a re-release of Bulletstorm at GOG. I would buy it then finally considering it would probably be uncensored for me. Back in the day I skiped it for that reason.

    • RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      I would even buy it on Steam, IF IT WASN’T REGION-LOCKED! I fucking hate this policy, why do they want people to NOT give them money??!!

  5. piedpiper says:

    Even more iiiiiiiinteresting part is that some of developers from People Can Fly now in Flying Wild Hog (who surely can make great FPS).
    Bulletstorm ended on such a shameless cliffhanger. I can’t think think of any other game I played which screams “We wanted to make a sequel” so much. Well, maybe Anachronox, but I didn’t play it.

    • ninenullseven says:

      they did one great FPS (Hard Reset rocks), one decent FPS (nothing amazing, Shadow Warrior is full of design problems) and platformer for kids (Juju). I won’t call them ‘great FPS’ company as they made only two, and only one of them was actually solid game.

      • Tinotoin says:

        Hear hear for Hard Reset – that game alone made my 3D Vision purchase worthwhile.

      • Urthman says:

        You don’t like Painkiller?

      • EhexT says:

        If you think Hard Reset is overall a better game than Shadow Warrior you are grade A crazy. Hard Reset may have some interesting points, but as a whole it’s an ugly, boring mess. Shadow Warrior on the other hand is an FPS masterpiece, where almost every single component just works perfectly.

  6. Kollega says:

    This is some really good news. As piedpiper noted just above, the cliffhanger at the end of Bulletstorm was absolutely shameless (and also pretty unnecessary, if you ask me) – but that’s not the reason I care. The reason I care is that Bulletstorm managed to actually make being a stereotyped gruff space marine fun to the extreme, had setpieces that literally made my jaw drop shortly before uncontrollable laughter took over, and had some great but underutilized potential as a score attack game. Here’s hoping to Bulletstorm 2 that won’t suck and won’t have Games for Windows – Live.

  7. commentingaccount says:

    Here’s hoping their next game doesn’t suck. Bulletstorm was a boring game and I don’t even know why I finished it. I’m not hard to please, I finished Borderlands 1 thinking it had good writing, for fuck’s sakes. The only good part about Bulletstorm, aside from the graphics tech, was the comedy part of the writing. The serious portions of the writing were godawful(Ishi I can rant about for a good long time).

    • ninenullseven says:

      I thought I’m alone at this. I love BL1 writing and hate BL2 with passion – it was non-intrusive dark twisted and sad comedy, and I also love comedy aspect of Bulletstorm with all those ‘killing d**ks’ jokes. Serious parts were awful.
      Also I think the game is much longer than it should, it becomes painfully boring somewhere in the middle and then you just drag yourself through never-ending levels.

      • commentingaccount says:

        FWIW, I like some of BL2’s writing. Mostly the humor(Though the way they redid Scooter pisses me off. He was funnier in the first) and Handsome Jack.

    • ShadyGuy says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed the writing in Bulletstorm for exactly those reasons. The comedy was golden and the drama was written awfully, but in a cheesy B movie way, which made me enjoy it all the more. Also, I got to play with a giant robot Dinosaur. Bulletstorm is awesome. :D

    • Tekrunner says:

      Wait, there were serious (as in actually serious, and not Serious Sam serious) portions in Bulletstorm’s writing?

      • commentingaccount says:

        Ishi, etc. About half the writing is serious, it’s just easy to forget given the epic set pieces, etc.

      • bleeters says:

        I was apparently meant to care when characters died, or when Commander NotShepard was talking about getting her vengeance and all that noise. Thankfully it didn’t happen all that often.

  8. vorador says:

    Bulletstorm was dumb as bricks, as dumb as a Michael Bay movie.

    But it was a ton of fun. And it rewarded creative gameplay in a way very few games have done.

    • Jalan says:

      Indeed. I’ve seen some do unfavorable comparison between it and the first Painkiller and don’t really get it – personally, I had fun playing both and the possibility of playing more of either one, assuming the fun is still there, overrides any “stupidity”/etc. that might be present.

  9. ninenullseven says:

    they should go back to Bulletstorm, remove GfWL, incorporate steamworks and DLCs, fix issues, remove config encryption and only then I’ll give them a chance. Yes, I’m still bitter at Epic for releasing broken mess and then blaming me (PC gamers) for low sales on PC and calling us pirates. I f**king bought the f**king game 3 times.

  10. Synesthesia says:

    This is great news. Bulletstorm was great fun, can’t wait to see what they come up with.

    • Nyctef says:

      Same here – especially a Bulletstorm 2, mainly because I really want to see the continued adventures of Hairy White Dude and Sweary Femshep :D

      (seriously though, one of my favourite Jennifer Hale roles ever: link to youtube.com)

    • zarthrag says:

      Am I the only one hoping for the return of Waggleton P. Tallylicker? (I lost my sides completely on that part.)

      • commentingaccount says:

        Dude/Dudette/etc, if Waggleton P. Tallylicker doesn’t come back, I’ll go to Poland and skin a bitch.

        For serious, though, that robot segment was the funniest part of the game.

  11. Carra says:

    Painkiller was a lot of fun but Bulletstorm was a great shooter. I look forwards to their next project.

  12. CrazyPaladin says:

    I see the console crowd was quite pissed off at PCF because of Gears of War Judgement, but whatever, let’s see more Bulletstorm, pretty please?