Housemarque hint at battle royale flirtation with Stormdivers

“Arcade is dead,” Housemarque, the makers of arcade shooters from Super Stardust to Nex Machina, dramatically declared last year. For them, anyway. So what sort of games will they make if not arcade? Over the weekend they announced Stormdivers, “A high flying and heavy hitting multiplayer centric experience.” Whatever that means. Housemarque have hinted that it might be somethinng battle royale-ish, which normally wouldn’t excite me as this craze draws out, but I will give such a fine studio the benefit of the doubt. For now, we can watch a teaser trailer showing a moody forest quite different from the colourblasts I expect from them.

Housemarque explained in Saturday’s announcement that they’ve been working on Stormdivers secretly for two years.

“As a part of our recent transition away from our core genres, we’ve had a hard look at what really makes up an arcade game and how can we bring those elements to whole new heights,” they said. “Fortunately a few greats have been able to show the way and bring gameplay centric experiences to wider audiences. We hope to expand that progress as we bring our explosive effects and second-to-second gameplay to new genres.”

Cryptic. Speaking with Eurogamer, Housemarque head of publishing Mikael Haveri hinted at more.

“You can compare it to a lot of the multiplayer experiences you have now,” Haveri told me, which I remarked sounded like Housemarque was doing a Fortnite game – a battle royale game. “That’s a very good assumption,” he replied.

I don’t know if I’d take that to mean they’re making simply another Plunkbut, but it would seem they’re drawing something from the hit genre of the moment.

“It’s fast, very gameplay centric,” he added. “We hope when people pick it up they start feeling good. We want there to be adrenaline, we want them to be moving, we want them to be really getting into it – a fast experience where you have to go outside and take a breather from it. Couple that with visual flair; you play Resogun, you see all this stuff exploding and going off – that’s what we’re bringing to the multiplayer. This is a Housemarque take.”

Well, as long as it has Housemarque explosions.

No word yet on when Stormdivers will be released. Housemarque say “It will be the first title that we treat as an on-going service, this also means that there are ways to get to play it earlier and we’d love to develop it further with a feedback loop in mind.” So… early access?

And Housemarque tell EG that they’re working on a bigger game too.

This is all very strange from a studio known for wonderful arcade games, but I’m certainly curious to see what they’ll do in other areas.

14 Comments

  1. ukpanik says:

    It will have to be something special to tempt me away from Lawbreakers.

  2. FredSaberhagen says:

    Where. Is dead nation 2.

  3. Hartford688 says:

    I hear there will soon be battle royale versions of Hollow Knight and Life is Strange. Just because everything is better with that mode.

    • GameOverMan says:

      Battle Royale with time travel, that would be something.

    • wengart says:

      Battle Royale modes I find a lot more interesting as a fad than everyone trying to be a MOBA or MMO. Its such a open mode that you can throw it in most games and the the gameplay loop can fit without butchering it. I recall one the first few missions in Company of Heroes had you collecting scattered paratroopers from across the map while capturing German heavy equipment leading to larger and larger battles. If you screw around with that you could probably create some sort of compelling RTS Battle Royale game.

      Now I doubt there are developers who have the skill to turn it into a really good game, but you could do it without totally changing the style of gameplay since Battle Royale is something you attach onto an existing game.

  4. g948ng says:

    “gameplay centric experiences”

    Wot?

    • abstrarie says:

      I think they are trying to say that it isn’t a Quantic Dream game.

      But yeah, that phrase doesn’t mean anything haha

      • g948ng says:

        It could just as well be a quantic dream engine. We don´t know. The trailer doesn´t help either.
        Personally I´d say it would help selling stuff if you told people what said stuff is and shove the inexpressive marketing lingo in a colon centric orifice of your choice. But then I am not an expert.

  5. apa says:

    What an excellent term, “Plunkbut”!

  6. racccoon says:

    Something about still environment shots that make me feel not so happy with these hint trailers. Movement and animation please, cheers :)

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