This is a bit of an odd article to write and also read, I'd imagine. First and foremost, we have an announcement for Ninja Theory's next game, Hellblade. The team showcased their debut cinematic trailer featuring protagonist Senua as she prepares for her Hellblade adventure during Sony's PlayStation Gamescom press conference. It brought the house down, which is no big surprise. There's another side to the story that needs to be further explored too.
With Hellblade Ninja Theory is exploring a space it has coined as "Independent AAA" development. Their meaning with the term is that they intend to create games with AAA quality, but with independent size and pricing. This also allows Ninja Theory to own their intellectual property, an issue which has prevented them from creating sequels to franchises they adore in the past. Imagine developing concepts, tools, assets -- the whole shebang -- for a series of games and then being told those years of work will be stopped after only one game. I wouldn't be surprised if Ninja Theory had team members go mad.
That doesn't mean that Ninja Theory will be abandoning triple-A development entirely. In fact, the company has confirmed it's still exploring or working on several deals for more traditional AAA development. Hellblade is just an example of what they'll be doing in-between, or during these other projects. If this sounds confusing, Ninja Theory has your back there, too. They'll be opening up development, providing updates documenting their progress, their obstacles and everything along the way. They'll be doing this on the official Hellblade website, though their Twitter account is also a great look into the studio's process.
For now just take in this beautiful Hellblade teaser trailer. It's already clear that the developer has matured ten times over since their Heavenly Sword days. Senua's journey may be yet mysterious, but it's clear that nobody should risk getting in her way. Did you see the look in her eyes? I also highly recommend everyone check out this article's gallery, where you'll find a number of concept pieces for Hellblade. They're beautiful and terrifying.
No release window has yet been confirmed for Hellblade. PlayStation 4 is the only platform announced, but odds are there's no exclusivity deal in place for the game itself. Rather, there's probably an agreement in place where Ninja Theory won't announce the official platforms for a given time after Gamescom, since Sony claimed dibs on announcing the game in their press conference.