Ember Lab’s debut game, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, is coming to PlayStation consoles and PC this August, and with the game almost at the finish line it looks like the developers are starting to envision the next project. Heavily influenced by Southeast Asian culture, Kena: Bridge of Spirits follows the titular spirit guide as she plies her trade helping the departed move on with the help of adorable companions called the Rot. Though new to the realm of game development, Ember Labs made a huge splash at Sony’s PlayStation 5 reveal event last year when it first showed off the game, and the success perhaps prompted the studio to make future plans.
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Last summer was stuffed with digital presentations in the wake of E3’s cancellation, but Kena: Bridge of Spirits was one of the announcements that was most able to shine through the clutter. With graphics fit for a Pixar movie and an intriguing premise, the game became one of the most anticipated indies of the year. And it was not just players that were impressed. Recently, organizers behind the Tribeca Film Festival announced that this year’s festivities would include something new: a game award. The Tribeca Game Award will reportedly celebrate upcoming game titles, and the first batch of games up for the prize includes Ember Lab’s Kena: Bridge of Spirits alongside seven other anticipated titles.
A recent Wired article looking over the last sixth months of the PlayStation 5 took a moment to touch on the studio’s game two ambitions. Following a breakdown of the game’s earlier development on the PlayStation 4, the article discusses the developer’s interest in taking advantage of the newest console’s features, including haptic feedback. The Ember Lab team discussed this in previous interviews, even hinting at the possibility of DLC for its first game, but Josh Grier, one of the company’s founders, went a little farther in this most recent article. Grier stated that, “looking at game two” the studio intends to reach the limits of what Sony’s hardware can offer. As to what that next title will be, the studio does not clarify.
Luckily, the launch window for Ember Lab’s game one is quickly approaching, with Kena: Bridge of Spirits set to release on August 24. The game has suffered delays in the past, as it was initially expected to hit in 2020 shortly after the PlayStation 5’s debut, but so far it looks like the title is on track for its new release date.
If Kena: Bridge of Spirits inspires audiences in the same way its trailers did, news of Ember Lab’s mysterious second game will be in high demand. However, game development – especially right now – takes a long time, and it could be years until the creators offer official news on the project.
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