Frictional Games Mulls Over Taming Down Horror Elements in Future Games
22 Jul, 2023
In a development that may scare hardcore fans, Frictional Games, the acclaimed developer of the popular Amnesia horror series, has recently indicated its plans to step back slightly from its traditional horrific narrative devices. In a conversation with Eurogamer, founder Thomas Grip shared insights regarding this drastic reorientation, shedding light on the potential reasons that led to such a dramatic shift.
Frictional Games, renowned for its nerve-wracking, terror-inducing titles, plans to steer its narratives from the mainstream horror genre. The shift, which may surprise most fans, is rooted in an aspiration to explore other aspects of game narrative design. Asserting that their strength lies in creating immersive universes with a focus on exploration and discovery and portraying dread and horror in interesting and unique ways, the developer plans to integrate these principles into a less intense genre.
Grip also stated that the team is interested in exploring the synergy between the player character and world design. They aim to reduce the amount of horror whilst increasing the focus on other elements, particularly those of narrative spaces and environmental storytelling. This, ideally, will allow game players to establish a stronger connection with the virtual environment, deepening the game's overall impact.
Interestingly, the developer hinted about retaining the DNA of horror, albeit in reduced doses. Frictional Games' passion and expertise for creating an environment of suspense and surprise will remain intact. The dynamic tension that forms so much of their games' allure will underpin future offerings, albeit in a less concentrated form.
Notwithstanding the feelings of avid horror gamers, the shift in direction signifies an attempt to diversify their creative output. Fans may still expect games with a strong atmospheric focus and narrative impact from the developer, which has created gems like Amnesia and Soma. As Grip rightly states, it's not about renouncing horror entirely but rather reimagining horror in a way that unfolds non-horrific landscapes. As Frictional Games venture into this brave, new direction, only time can tell how this deviation from its erstwhile genre affects its popularity and fan base.