You will not have heard about Scorn, an upcoming horror game inspired by H.R. Giger (set designer extraordinaire from the likes of Alien). The reason you won't know anything about this game is because it's an Indie title that's been labelled as "too weird for mainstream." I like it already! The creators of Scorn leaked their obscure and terrifyingly beautiful game to Rely on Horror, a site dedicated to things that go bump in the night.
Scorn is being developed by Ebb Software, an Indie Studio that no one seems to know anything about, that is, up until now. According to Ryan Stanford, the horror guru whom the story was leaked to, Ebb Software consists of seven full-time studio members and a couple of freelance artists. Now here's the interesting bit, they've pitched Scorn to several studios and investors, but the game was repeatedly rejected because "the game’s too weird for mainstream appeal and lacks hooks for the best way to monetize the project." Don't investors know that nothing can be "too weird" for gamers?
Another reason why Scorn was rejected is because these days all games should have mutliplayer.
According to Ebb Software, they always get the same answer of "the game is too weird, its single player, nowadays every game has to be online and free to play cause that’s the best way to monetize the players etc." As long as there are gamers there will be a market for single-player, obscure, horrific, odd, games.
The obvious next question is, why did Ebb Software not take their project to Kickstarter? Scorn is exactly the kind of game that will intrigue a certain, erh, niche supporter. The reason why they didn't take to Kickstarter was because "they believe a good kickstarter needs to have people behind it who made a great game, and a great marketing campaign, neither of which are easy to do." Ebb Software already has a lot of concept art and according to Stanford, also a demo of the concept art on the Unity 5 engine. Ebb Software's hope is that with the leak to Rely on Horror, and a positive reception from fans and the media, that investors will turn their reluctant eyes to funding for Scorn.
Scorn happened when Dune and Alien had a baby
I for one hope that Scorn will claw its way onto my screen. Ebb Software hopes to release it on PC and PlayStation 4, with plans to make use of the VR capabilities of Project Morpheus. Looking at that compilation of concept art, doesn't Scorn remind you of a mix between Dune (Frank Herbert) and Alien?
While we're talking about really obscure horror games, tell me about your top five, if you can find five that is. I've got only one. Slender. A lot of devs talk about their games being scary and weird, but very few achieve those claims.
Source: Rely on Horror
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