A name carries power in the world of games. It often sets the tone of a piece, determines just how many puns RPS can get out of it before having to play it straight, and (in some less fortunate cases) may invite legal eagles to peck out a developer’s eyes.
The game formerly known as Spellbound – a magical school-life RPG from Starbound developers and publisher Chucklefish – is now officially known as Witchbrook. A simple ward that should protect the game from the howling mass of brand-enforcement gremlins most likely already clawing at the studio’s windows.
The official name change was tweeted out by studio head Fiin ‘Tiyuri’ Bryce, along with the new logo for the game, and a vertically stacked shot of (presumably) a potion-brewing classroom. Despite there being no new information on the game, responses to the announcement are… enthusiastic, to say the least. Gushing, even, and a fair few commenters continue to draw comparisons between the game and Netflix-hosted anime series Little Witch Academia.
As nice as Spellbound sounded on paper, it wasn’t exactly the rarest of names. In film alone, the title has been used at least three times since 1945, according to IMDB, so it’s easy to understand Chucklefish’s early renaming. Both Alice and Phillipa covered the game formerly known as Spellbound last year in slightly more detail, revealing its focus on interpersonal relationships and Young Adult drama over traditionally videogame’y heroism and end-of-the-world scenarios.
We’ll be gazing beyond the veil and scrying what we can of Witchbrook’s nature as and when Chucklefish give us a peek.