The director of Until Dawn and The Quarry has revealed he’s working on another full-scale horror title, which is tentatively planned for release by 2026.
Supermassive is known for its branching narrative adventures within the horror genre. Over the past decade, the BAFTA-winning UK studio has released both larger games (Until Dawn, The Quarry) and a series of smaller, episodic titles underneath The Dark Pictures banner.
Speaking to VGC in a recent interview, studio director Will Byles – who directed both of Supermassive’s larger horror games – confirmed it was his intention to continue creating full-scale narrative adventures with the same genre.
“I do like the luxury of being able to really explore characters and you get that with a longer story,” he explained. “It annoys some people, because they get bored with it, but I really like the fact you can go in-depth with the characters and explore relationships in a way that’s harder on a shorter story.”
Specifically discussing his next project, Byles said it would be equivalent in size to this year’s The Quarry – which was published by 2K – and suggested it could deviate from the teen horror explored in his last two releases.
“We’ve started working on [the next game],” he said. “I can’t really tell you very much at all about it, but we have started. Again, it’s the same sort of horror genre, we’re sticking to that. It’s equivalent in size to The Quarry… and that’s about as much as I can say without giving too much away.”
He added: “Potentially we might be a little bit like… I don’t know how far we can stretch the teen horror thing out further, because especially when we try to stir it up, the number of surprises you can add to that becomes limited.
“The Dark Pictures explores hundreds of variants of the horror genre. What we’re looking at now, and I can’t tell you exactly what it is, is a bit of a diversion away from that sort of standard, but it’s still very much classic horror.”
Asked if fans will have to wait the seven years that passed between Until Dawn and The Quarry to play the game, Byles indicated he was planning on a much shorter turnaround of about four years. “No, it certainly won’t be the seven years it took between Until Dawn,” he said. “It will be 2025, or maybe 2026.”
Supermassive was recently fully acquired by Danish entertainment company Nordisk, and claimed that the sale will give it more ammunition with which to create its projects.
Evidence of the studio’s growing stature could be seen in this year’s The Quarry, which featured a Hollywood cast including David Arquette (Scream), Ariel Winter (Modern Family), Justice Smith (Jurassic World), Brenda Song (Dollface), Lance Henriksen (Aliens) and Lin Shaye (A Nightmare on Elm Street).
Byles indicated that the company was continuing to be ambitious in its pursuit of acting talent, and said he believed it wouldn’t be long before the very biggest Hollywood actors lead video game casts.
“I don’t think that’s far off. It’s mostly about the number of days we have them for, because it’s very expensive, and shooting this takes a long time. So that becomes a bit of an issue,” he explained. “Also when you get somebody like Tom Cruise, that becomes what could be a budget of an entire game just on him. So, it will come down to that.
“However, there’s an argument that these are businesses and they need to make their money back, there’s a certain budget that if you go beyond you can’t sell more copies of the game – unless Tom Cruise adds a couple of million [by himself].”
He added: “We thought we would never get David Arquette. We do push it. And now, people take our calls in a way that was harder before when it wasn’t a medium they didn’t understand. The younger ones are much easier, because they know this stuff.”