IO Interactive, the studio best-known for the Hitman series, has announced that they are developing a new online fantasy RPG under the codename Project Fantasy.
They shared a new piece of concept art, that certainly looks like a fantasy game, with what looks like an elf, wizard and dwarf all staring off into the distance.
Explaining their motivations to step into a fantasy setting in the announcement blog, IO writes:
For many, this journey is also a deeply personal one that began long before we started making games for a living – and it started with the fantasy genre. From the “Fighting Fantasy” books compelling you to choose your path, alone, against wizards, lizards, and thief kings. To the togetherness, camaraderie, agony, and delight found around the tabletop. For some it meant taking the role of a game master: Part storyteller, part AI opponent, part guide, part villain. For everyone around that table it meant creativity, imagination, building a world together, and a shared goal in creating a great game experience.
It’s sensible to announce their fledgling work at this point, as they’ve also opened up new job positions for Project Fantasy across their three studios in Barcelona, Copenhagen and Malmö. Job listings are often a source of development information and slight leaks over what companies are working on, so this was bound to come out and it allows them to build a little excitement early.
Further reading: James Bond, IO Interactive, and what makes a great licensed game
This isn’t the only game that IO Interactive are working on. Having wrapped up the Hitman World of Assassination trilogy in 2021 and then continued to support it for two years of content, the studio is stepping away from their bald, barcoded assassin.
Announced in 2020, IO Interactive is working on a James Bond video game that is sure to tread some similar ground stylistically as the Hitman games, though will also certainly have some stylistic changes made to it. Project Fantasy looks to be something else entirely, especially with its focus on online gaming.
Source: IO Interactive