Ukrainian team Frogwares, best known for its work on the Sherlock Holmes series and original IP The Sinking City, has today shared word of its next game: Project Palianytsia. Described as "a mix of eldritch horror coupled with Victorian-era mystery", four pieces of concept art have been released to demonstrate the studio's vision. An official reveal is planned for this summer.
However, the developer has stated it never intended for Project Palianytsia to be its next game; Russia's invasion of the country has made it so. In a statement, communications manager Sergey Oganesyan explained Frogwares needed a more realistic project to work on given the war happening all around them.
"While still challenging, prior to this, everything we released during the war was existing projects that needed to be finalized. We are now making something almost entirely from scratch which is a lot harder under these circumstances so we needed to think smart about what is realistic for us. The idea was greenlit for this very reason as it is something our current team and setup can deliver compared to doing pre-production on another open-world title, which is what we were doing prior to the war."
Oganesyan then goes on to explain how Frogwares had to shift responsibilities between various employees and fill roles as members left to defend their country and provide humanitarian aid. "And the threat that tomorrow something could happen somewhere or to someone that would force us to drastically adapt all over again means we need to be more flexible." As such, the developer decided to focus on something tighter that could be developed quicker in the current conditions.
Although, Project Palianytsia will still be "ambitious, packed with quality, and with great storytelling and mystery behind it. This way, we can not only make a new game, but do so while supporting those fighting."
"We are revealing the game now in this way to simply show people we are pushing on and also as a clear middle finger to those who thought they could just roll into our country hoping to disrupt and ruin our lives." Earlier this month, we interviewed Frogwares on finishing the PS4 version of Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One in the midst of a war. Once again: Push Square would like to extend our heartfelt wishes to the team at Frogwares, and indeed all the people of Ukraine, during this time.