Annapurna Pictures, the company behind a wide array of movies such as Zero Dark Thirty, Her, and Sausage Party, has announced a new venture in the form of Annapurna Interactive. This new division will produce and publish video games. Based on the variety of themes in the films, we can be sure to expect a variety of games as well.
Annapurna Interactive announced their goal is "developing personal, emotional, and original games that push the boundaries of interactive content and encourage artists to bring new visions to the medium." And by the games they have already announced to release, we can see they are doing just that.
Two games were announced for Spring 2017: Gorogoa by Jason Roberts and What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow, the company behind The Unfinished Swan.
Gorogoa is a puzzle game inspired by interactive comics. Originally designed as a card game, it became too complex for the medium and was instead converted to a video game where it has been in development for two years. The game consists of four images in a grid and players must find the connection between them to move to the next level. They do so by moving, stacking, and exploring the cards. There is no language, intended by Roberts to make it accessible to anyone and everyone, so players must rely on their own creativity and skills to succeed.
The plot of the game is about a boy and a monster, with religious and spiritual themes. The game's name comes from the made-up name Roberts invented in his childhood for an imaginary creature. Each card is hand-drawn by Roberts himself, and the audio is done by Austin Wintory, the composer for the game Journey. Gorogoa will be released in Q1 2017 on both iOS and Steam. The game was originally planned for 2016 for PC and Mac with the mobile version on Android and iOS to follow later, though no word if the Android mobile version is still in the works.
What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of short stories as you play through the cursed Finch family to help Edith find out why she's the last Finch member. Each story is a first person perspective of different Finch family members in Washington State, ranging from the 1900s to today, and each ending with their death.
The game starts out in "The House" as you follow Edith Finch as she explores her family history. Each story takes place in a different room of someone who died in the house. It looks to be exceedingly creepy but also fascinating and unique. What Remains of Edith Finch has also been in development for quite a while and was also originally intended to come out in 2016. The game was originally set to have PlayStation exclusivity, but Annapurna Interactive indicates it will come to Steam as well in the first quarter of 2017.
Annapurna Interactive is also working to release games with Funomena and Keita Takahashi, creator of the Katamari Damacy franchise, as well as with the studio Mountains, founded by the Monument Valley designer Ken Wong. The Annapurna team is led by a score of industry veterans who have had a hand in Journey, God of War, Mortal Kombat, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Flower, and Fat Princess.
Annapurna Interactive looks to focus on the emotional impact of video games, staying very selective in their productions, staying in line with the surprisingly introspective view of movies such as Sausage Party. The CEO and founder, Megan Ellison, cites the puzzles and beauty of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as her inspiration for the company's objective.