"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," wrote Frogwares
communications manager, Sergey Oganesyan
, when the studio revealed that it had pivoted away from its next open-world project, deciding instead to work on something streamlined and more timeline realistic given the current circumstances in Ukraine
"While still challenging, prior to this, everything we released during the war was existing projects that needed to be finalised," Sergey continues. "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."
The new venture, titled "Project Palianytsia" was teased with a few pieces of artwork and the promise of something more tangible later in the year, as far as a detailed unveiling goes.
"The name Palianytsia is symbolic to Ukraine as it's considered part of our national cuisine," Sergey writes. "But it’s also the equivalent of phonetical Dark Souls for Russians who often can’t pronounce it correctly when trying to pass off as Ukrainian. And so now it's often used in the field as a test to quickly identify possible affiliation of unknown individuals."
The game is being described as "a mix of eldritch horror coupled with Victorian-era mystery" which, if we're being honest, is all we really need to know as that sounds like a narrative mashup between the studio's efforts in both The Sinking City
and Sherlock Holmes
. So sign us up with interest.
Check out the leaked pieces of art below, followed by the full statement from the studio.
The war keeps going. And so do we. A new game is in the works.
We are now reaching the 4th month of the russian invasion. This so-called “special operation” was supposed to take only a few days to complete. Funny how life doesn’t always work out to plan. We have no doubt that Ukraine will remain an independent nation - no matter what the russian forces throw at us. But because of the war, we have to adapt. And the work must continue. With that, we have an announcement to make.
We can now officially reveal that we are working on a new game, codenamed “Palianytsia”. It’s a horror and mystery experience that fans of both The Sinking City and Sherlock Holmes should like. We’ll make a proper announcement soon, but for now, we have a few early concept pieces to share with you.
To be frank, “Palianytsia” is not the project we had originally planned on doing next, but with the war taking place, we needed to re-evaluate everything. It is a bit more streamlined than our latest open-world titles but it’s a game we are sure we can deliver under these extreme circumstances.
As an independent studio, we always have to balance our resources and workflow to be able to deliver our games. But the war has thrown notable hurdles at us and our established process. Constant communication and iteration between teams is harder to maintain, so we need a project where staff can have more autonomy. Roles and responsibilities had to shift around to fill the gaps left by those who signed up to fight or 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. With this in mind, we had a decision to make.
Do we go ahead with a large scope project and risk disruption, have less room for R&D and innovation, less access to your highly skilled staff, and have smaller pre-production and development of specific tools? Or perhaps we can be smarter about this, and create a project with an easier turnaround and a tighter scope - but still 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 will be revealing more about our next title shortly. And, if you are interested, we’d like to give you a more detailed look into our lives and our work during a war. Perhaps it might bring you and us a little bit closer. We’re also looking at other ways to bring the game to you directly - more info on that soon.
Thank you for all your support during this time. Stay safe wherever you are.
Stay tuned for more on this new endeavour as it becomes available, and our hearts go out to all of those affected by these unprecedented circumstances.