When Bandai Namco and Supermassive games revealed Man of Medan last year, they announced it as part of something called The Dark Pictures anthology. This framework has a British host presenting each story, not unlike the well-loved Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone TV shows, and talking to the player about the characters and the story during interstitial breaks. It turns out this creepy gentleman is going to be our host for quite a while, as Supermassive has already written out plans for seven more games in the anthology after Man of Medan, aiming for two games a year.
During a demo event earlier this week, I got to sit down with managing director Pete Samuels and marketing head James Scalpello. Throughout playing Man of Medan, I wondered how far ahead they plan to take this anthology in the future. While everyone agreed it may be a bit premature to talk about the next game, they do have a schedule for how fast they plan to release them.
“What we’ve said is we’re going to hit about two a year,” Samuels said. “So I mean, we already are near-release on this and we’re still on track for delivering two every 12-month period.”
Of course, that also begs a follow-up: if Supermassive is doing two games a year, how far out are these games being worked on?
“Well, the second one is well into production,” Samuels answered, counting numbers off on his fingers. “So we know what that is. Third one is going to the end of its design phase in writing. And we’re shooting that with the cast in two weeks’ time to get all that. In the fourth one, I think we have a concept of the movements and design. The fifth one, we’re working on and we have the concept and are about to move into design. But we know what the horror story is also for the sixth, seventh, and eighth.”
“We have a lot of subject matters to choose from,” Scalpello interjected. “Remember, we love horror, there’s 39 sub-genres or something like that of our own that we can choose from, which we subvert and twist. All of the stories have an element of the real world about them as well. So we do have an awful lot of subject matter that we we can sort of pull from with a very broad, very broad brush. So we’re lucky enough there.”
Eight games is definitely a lot, even at two a year. I posited to Samuels that Supermassive is basically committing to a console generation of making Dark Pictures games.
His immediate reply was simply “Yeah, good.”
“We’re going to keep making them until somebody tells us to stop,” Samuels added after a pause, “because we’ve got a passion for it, and we’ll never run out of material. We’re confident enough that, as long as we can come up with what we believe are great stories to tell as horror, we’re going to keep going.”
Supermassive announced today that Man of Medan, and every game in the Dark Pictures anthology, will feature online multiplayer, which we’ve previewed here. Man of Medan releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 30.