The designer of Dead Cells has criticised his former studio, saying its decision to stop making updates for the game was an “asshole move”.
Sébastien Benard was a co-founder of Motion Twin and worked at the studio for 19 years, during which time he designed Dead Cells, its critically acclaimed 2018 Metroidvania game. He then left Motion Twin in March 2000 to set up a new studio.
Following the success of Dead Cells, Motion Twin wanted to continue to update it while still moving onto its next project. In 2019, members of Motion Twin established a new, legally separate studio called Evil Empire, which was then handed the responsibility of working on Dead Cells updates.
Motion Twin recently announced that the game’s upcoming Update 35 will be its last, stating: “After an incredible five-year collaboration in bringing additional content to Dead Cells, Evil Empire will be pursuing new adventures, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.”
However, While Motion Twin’s statement appears to be the result of a joint agreement to end development on Dead Cells updates, Benard has posted a message on the official Dead Cells Discord server that implies he believes the deal was less amicable.
As spotted by PCGamesN, Benard was asked by a user for his take on the situation, and suggested that behind the scenes Motion Twin’s decision has negatively affected Evil Empire.
“Since you’re asking me, I’d just say [Motion Twin] did the worst imaginable asshole move against Dead Cells and [Evil Empire],” he wrote.
“Having seen first hand the actual situation behind the scene, I can honestly say I’m glad to not be part of this anymore. The official statement is total marketing bullshit, the way this situation happened is on a whole different level.
“I never imagined my former co-op studio would turn out to be such greedy people. I wish the absolute best to [Evil Empire] for their next things, and hope people working there will survive this sudden economic cut.”
Dead Cells received five major annual expansions following its release, the last of which was a crossover with the Castlevania series.