Adrian Chmielarz, head of The Astronauts studio, explained in an interview why the team moved away from creating walking simulators and set course for the much more dynamic Witchfire.
“We knew the days of walking simulators were numbered. Games like these are great for a one-time use, and yes, you can do great things with them – like the latest acclaimed walking simulator, What Remains of Edith Finch – but they have a limited lifespan. So we started looking for new directions.”
As a result, the bet was made on Witchfire, which combines elements of a shooter and roguelike. It's a strong change of direction from The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which was warmly received by high ratings, but there seemed little chance of repeating the success.
“We did Painkiller and Bulletstorm. Literally the most important people behind these games now work at The Astronauts. So we didn’t immediately hear the call to arms.”
As a recent example, the failure of the walking simulator The Invincible from the Polish company Starward Industries, which, despite good ratings from critics and players, sold poorly at launch.