One of Square Enix’s most interesting developments over the past few years was their Collective initiative, which would not only get independent developers support from Square Enix marketing teams, but would allow them to pitch new games based on dormant properties. They recently opened the Eidos catalog to pitches, and the result is a campaign to make a new Fear Effect.
Fear Effect was a series of PS1 action games that featured a highly stylized art style. But the French studio working on the new title, Sushee, isn’t working with a Triple-A budget. In an interview with Eurogamer, they cite 2014’s Shadowrun Returns as a major influence on their design, so you can expect some major gameplay changes. This will be an isometric, turn-based tactics game with a party of five characters.
If you don’t remember Fear Effect the game, you might remember Fear Effect the marketing campaign, which is among the more embarrassing artifacts of late-90s video games. While the original games’ lesbian protagonists, Hana and Rain, are both central here the developers want to take a smarter approach today. ”We don't want to show sexuality for nothing,” said studio founder Benjamin Anseaume, ”We want to work on the relationship between the characters. Maybe back in the 90s it was a selling element. We want to make it part of the story and not just a selling element.”
To that end, they’re working with John Zuur Platten, the franchise’s original director, to ensure a smart sequel that builds on the stories of the originals. The four main characters--Hana, Rain Qin, Royce Glas, and Jacob “Deke” DeCourt--will all appear in the game along with a cast of new characters. The story will take place some years after the end of the cancelled third game, Fear Effect Inferno.
Square, for their assistance in promotion, will be taking 10% of the game’s revenue. Which is, of course, assuming the game meets its funding goal of €100,000 on Kickstarter. Fear Effect Sedna’s campaign will launch on April 12, and Sushee is hopeful they’ll be able to deliver a final game on PC in 2017.