Gary Napper confirmed this week that he has taken on the role of design director on the game, which has remained under wraps for a number of years now.
“Thrilled to announce that today I joined Rare as design director on Everwild,” Napper confirmed. “Really looking forward to making some amazing things with this incredible team and studio.”
Napper is the latest team member to join a project that is understood to have been experiencing some turbulence behind the scenes recently.
Everwild - Eternals trailer
Earlier this year, sources told VGC that Everwild had been ‘completely rebooted’ following the departure of its creative director.
The original IP was a notable absentee from the Xbox and Bethesda showcase at E3 2021, especially considering Rare debuted new trailers for the game at each of Microsoft’s previous two big events, the Xbox Games Showcase in July 2020 and X019 in November 2019.
We were told at the time that last year’s departure of creative director Simon Woodroffe led to a complete overhaul of the game’s design and direction, as well as significant changes to its senior leadership.
According to people with knowledge of Everwild’s development, the game’s design was essentially “restarted from scratch”, which means it will likely be several years before it releases.
Asked about the status of the game during a Kinda Funny Games interview in October, Xbox’s Booty suggested the challenges Rare has faced were a natural part of the creative process.
“When you look at it from the outside, when you hear words like reset and maybe restructure, I’ll just say that those are probably a little more definite and a little more extreme than what really happens as a game comes to life,” he claimed.
On where the Everwild team is right now, he said: “They’re just trying to make sure that they’ve got something special. We’ve shown kind of a glimpse of a world, you’ve seen the art style that the team has got, but we want to get it right.”
Booty added: “We’ll share more on Everwild when the team has got some cool stuff to show. We know that there’s excitement and anticipation for it and we don’t want to just keep things hidden for too long”.