Ninja Theory, the developer behind both Heavenly Sword and DMC: Devil May Cry yesterday announced a brand new title, Hellblade, during Sony’s Gamescom conference. While Ninja Theory has previously published all their titles through mainstream distributors, Hellblade will be published independently. The developer has nicknamed their decision “Independent AAA;” in other words, a professionally developed and financed game for a mainstream audience, published outside of the traditional video game publishing sphere.
“For a traditionally AAA developer like Ninja, it may be possible to break the cycle of inevitability of rising budgets, sales-driven design and the wallet-busting price of entry of AAA that…makes IP ownership all but impossible for creators,” writes Ninja Theory Chief Creative-Director Tameem Antoniades, in a presentation given to explain the studio’s decision to publish their next game independently. “Perhaps there is room for a third way, to turn the ‘middle’, where many a good studio has disappeared, into an opportunity to redefine gaming: the Independent AAA game.”
As of yet, not a whole lot is known about the story or gameplay of Hellblade. While the teaser trailer and concept art revealed by Ninja Theory seem to suggest a fantasy RPG or hack-and-slash, a la Devil May Cry, nothing really has been revealed about how the game will play.
Hellblade will be released first on the PlayStation 4, however, Ninja Theory’s fledgling incursion into the realm of independent games publishing will not be a Sony exclusive – the game will be released on other platforms after the initial launch on PS4.
Checkout the teaser trailer for Hellblade below. You can find out more about the game, and keep up to date on its development by visiting the official website.