Last year, Metro Exodus proved that the series could crawl out of the subterranean tunnels of its past and successfully carve out a new home exploring above ground. What's next in this brave new world, then? A lot, apparently. Developers 4A Games have published an update to mark the tenth year since the series began and to say that they've got a whole lot on their plates. They're working on the next Metro series game, tinkering with concepts for multiplayer Metro, and staffing up for a totally new series.
For starters, 4A say "it’s no secret that we have already started work on the next Metro game." They're overhauling their game engine to take advantage of new tech like increased storage space and ray tracing capabilities. "We’re committed to delivering a great story driven single player experience; this is what the Metro series is founded on," they add.
That leads to the second bit of news. 4A Games were acquired by Saber Interactive earlier this year, becoming one of many other acquisitions by Embracer Group (who just picked up 11 other studios last week) this year. At the time, they briefly mentioned multiplayer in Metro's future.
Now, 4A are attempting to dampen any fears about what this will mean for the series. They say that multiplayer has always been a studio ambition, one that that's never made it past prototyping, that Saber Interactive can assist with.
"Let’s start by saying, we hear your concerns. We’re not looking at multiplayer as a box-ticking exercise, or to jump on some trend or bandwagon. As creators, we want to explore a multiplayer experience that makes complete sense in the Metro universe.
"We’re also committed to ensuring that whatever we do, it’s not to the detriment of our single-player ambitions. We’ll need a dedicated team focused solely on the online component, and this is what our new partnership with Saber can bring; years of expertise, technology, and know-how to help us realise our ambitions."
They also remind fans that any multiplayer plans the studio have are still early concepts. It doesn't necessarily mean the next Metro game will be multiplayer-only or that the singleplayer Metro game they're working on will have a parallel online component. It sounds very much like they're once again at the prototyping phase, really. "We are still figuring things out, but know that we are absolutely committed to more single-player, story driven experiences in the Metro universe that our fans have come to know and love," they say.
Lastly, 4A are looking beyond Metro too. "We want to stretch ourselves by exploring new projects and new IP," they say. "In 2017 we released Arktika.1, a sci-fi FPS for the Oculus Rift, and our first steps towards a goal of being a multi-project studio. We now want to grow this ambition to another new AAA experience that can sit alongside the Metro series." To that end, they're hiring at two of their studios.
For a bit more, see 4A Games' 10th anniversary studio update.