Once a selling point for Nintendo’s Wii console, the horror game Sadness quickly fell into developmental limbo and has since become one of the best known cases of vaporware of its time. The beautiful black and white screenshots never materialized into a full fledged game, and its developer Nibris all but crumbled thanks to its failure.
However, thanks to Nibris selling the IP to dedicated fans and developers on the indie scene, Sadness is finally back on track to becoming a reality one day.
Indie development teams HullBreach Studios and Cthulhu Games have confirmed in an interview with Nintendo Life that the pair and Nintendo have come to terms and are set on revitalizing Sadness as a Wii U exclusive. Randy Freer, the man who leaked the original screenshots back during its first attempt at development, is in control of the project, but he says that it will be taking an entirely new direction as a 2D RPG with puzzle elements.
We really liked the Slavic Mythological concept represented in the original concept. The properties of fear that it would have imposed on players, using psychological methods rather than through mere violent mechanics. It will surely be a challenge to live up these expectations. We hope to include the iconic Sadness characters Maria Lengyel and her troubled son Alex into this new title as the child begins to suffer narcolepsy, nyctophobia and paranoid schizophrenia.
Cthulhu Games’ Jeremy Kleve also chimed in on the change in genre and style.
Since this is our own realization of the game, it would not feel right if we did not start from scratch. Besides, we are introducing new elements that were never intended in the original brief, including RPG and puzzle-based mechanics.
The two confirmed that the game is “without a doubt” happening, and more revelations will be made at Indie Sanctum 2014 in October. They are estimating a release all the way in 2016 with the game using the Unity Engine. They iterate that this will be a Wii U exclusive, most likely through the Wii U and Unity deal the two companies made together.
The two come off as fully committed to bringing this lost game back into the spotlight, and I have little doubt that they’ll be make to make it happen. The real issue is wondering if the Wii U will still be a viable console come 2016. Will Nintendo have moved on by then, and will Sadness end up once again skipping a console generation that it was promised for?
I’ll hope for the best, and who knows? When it gets released, maybe HullBreach Studios and Cthulhu Games will get around to bringing back Project H.A.M.M.E.R.