Horror game developer Bloober Team was offered the chance to make a Saw video game, but opted to create its take on Blair Witch instead.
Speaking to IGN at Polish games conference Digital Dragons, Bloober CEO Piotr Babieno talked about working with licensors and explained how the Blair Witch project came to be – and what didn't happen as a result.
"I was working with our good partner, United Talent Agency," Babieno explained. "We were meeting many people in the industry from Hollywood. UTA is very recognizable and they have good relations with all major movie studios. We talked with [multiple studios], and some of them came to us and [said] 'Okay, guys, you are focusing on horror and we would like to work with you.' [But] the licensors were very straight: 'We would like to do this story. We would like to have the game in 2021 [to coincide with our movie launch]," and so on. We decided, 'Okay, [this is] not what we would like to do.'"
Bloober is widely rumored to be working on a Silent Hill game for Konami, with some reports centring on a remake of Silent Hill 2. Babieno previously told IGN that the studio insists on working on games it can make its own (including "the project we can't talk about", as Babieno put it), and one movie studio met that criteria, and offered some big opportunities:
"Lionsgate came to us and said, 'Guys, we love [Bloober's breakout game] Layers of Fear. We saw what you are doing with Observer, so we would like to work with you. We know that you would like to do your own games, so please, this is our list of our horror IPs; choose one.' We could [have chosen] Saw, which is more popular than Blair Witch, but we decided to take Blair Witch because the universe has many opportunities to build something new. That was the reason why we chose this project."
Babieno says being offered licenses like this wasn't a one-off, and that Bloober has received multiple offers to work on licensed horror games since 2019's Blair Witch – but has had to turn them down due to its other projects.
"Right now, to be honest, we consistently have requests from movie studios, or from other licensors, to work with them, because Bloober Team in some way is recognizable. Unfortunately, for almost one year, we have [had to say] 'pass' to almost everything, because we don't have capacity to do any more titles at one time."
Bloober is currently working on two major projects. One is a game made with Konami – which many believe to be a Silent Hill project – and the other is a new IP with publisher Private Division. Babieno says a third game is also in pre-production. The company has previously teased some kind of return to its Layers of Fear series.
Babieno says that Bloober is resisting growing too much simply to work on more licensed games: "We could do a third project. We could [build a] bigger team, but we don't want to, because we would like to focus on quality and the feeling that [our developers are] still, in some way, independent [and] still feel that they are working on their own title."
Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected]