Below was actually one of the very first games shown off for the Xbox One, all the way back in 2013- and now, here we are in 2018, and the game is still not out. That said, we have finally started to hear from its developers again, and it seems like the game is nearing completion. Much like Cuphead, another indie game for the Xbox One, took so long to come out but was ultimately worth the wait, so too do we hope will Below be the same.
So what went wrong with the game? Why did it end up taking so long? In a candid interview withgames™ magazine (issue 200), Capybara Creative Director Kris Piotrowski discussed the struggles and tribulations faced by the development team, admitting that development on the game had been harder than they had anticipated- but the notion of cancelling the game had not been one that they had ever entertained.
“Well, we made a classic mistake, which I guess everybody has to do once before they really learn it,” Piotrowski said. “Back in 2013, we had parts of the game in place – core elements of its design and the art style – and we were super excited about what we had. Microsoft asked us if we wanted to show it at this giant event. We were just like, ‘Fuck yeah! There’s no way this could go wrong!’
“Yeah. So, we did it; We got our demo together, we put together our trailer, showed it at this big event, and then went home and it was like, ‘Right, time to make the game. This will be a piece of cake’. It turns out that the game was very difficult to make.
“It’s a classic case of announcing your game too early. I think we could have easily just kept Below to ourselves for at least a couple of years and then announced it. And, in hindsight, that’s what we would’ve done. But you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube once it’s out.”
“Throughout this whole thing we’ve never talked about [cancellation] being a possibility. We’ve always, from the beginning, treated it as a project that we wanted to release when it was done. We’ve never really had an opportunity, as a studio, to do that before. But this time around we were actually in that position, and I felt like we had something kind of unique and interesting on our hands. The whole studio got behind the idea of holding it back until it was done.”
It’s good to see that they stuck by the game and their vision for it, in spite of all the struggles, and they learned something from the experience of announcing it too early. Below looks to be coming along well, ad hopefully, it lives up to the hype when it launches exclusively for Xbox One and PC later this year.