Renomine! Wiz-school RPG Spellbound now Witchbrook

Witchbrook

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┬ácovered 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.

10 Comments

  1. Doug Exeter says:

    I dashed at full speed at Steam to go buy it after the first paragraph. If I would have read the whole article, I could have saved myself a ton of disappointment.

    • FranticPonE says:

      Yep. “No pre-orders” does not apply to this game for me. Gimme now!

      • FrenchTart says:

        Based on how Starbound turned out this game is definitely on my list of “no way in hell am I pre-ordering”.

        • M0dusPwnens says:

          This sounds like a really lovely concept just like Starbound. I just hope they decide to put more time into it before early access. Early access was maybe necessary to make Starbound happen from a financial perspective, and it may have had some positive effects, but it also strangled it. Instead of developing the game and then refining it, they got locked into a practically endless cycle of having to refine the half-game to satisfy all of the people treating Early Access as release over and over. They ended up having to make at least a dozen games. If anything, I’m surprised it ever made it to a “release” build at all.

          Starbound was what really opened my eyes to the negative impact early-access-driven development can have on even pretty capable developers.

          My hope is that they learned from this and, with the money from Starbound and their other stuff, they’re not going to throw Witchbrook to the wolves quite so early. I’d love to see what they can actually do.

        • JarinArenos says:

          I want to know who’s actually working on it. Chucklefish is just the publisher; I was under the impression that it shared basically no devs with the starbound team.

  2. FordTruck says:

    How dare you guys not do a interview of Kynseed it’s looking AMAZING now!<3 but for real the recent PC gamer interview with the kynseed devs was solid hope you guys lock one with them too.

  3. Marrow says:

    Hopefully its development isn’t as slow/nonexistent as other Chucklefish published titles beginning with ‘Witch’

    • Harlander says:

      Hopefully it’ll have a bit more focus than other Chucklefish-developed games ending in ‘bound’

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    Big Dunc says:

    “Spellbound” always reminds me of the 1985 Magic Knight game of the same name. Ah, happy days…

    • BadCatWillum says:

      Yeah, wouldn’t it be great if the visor-clad stomper himself got a cameo in this?