Dead Cells custodians Evil Empire are reportedly working on a new Prince of Persia roguelike, out this year

Evil Empire, the studio responsible for the previous five or so years of updates to Motion Twin’s roguelite metroidvania game Dead Cells, are set to release a new roguelite set in the Prince of Persia universe “later this year.”

That’s according to Insider Gaming, who were told by sources that ‘The Rogue Prince of Persia’, as the game is rumoured to be named, will first release in Steam early access. It’s reckoned to have been in development for the last four years or so, and supposedly came about after a talk between Evil Empire and Ubisoft at GDC 2019.

It was also suggested that the game will “receive constant free updates and evolve over time based on community feedback.” Dead Cells itself evolved considerably under Evil Empire until, this February, Motion Twin announced that its 35th (35!) update would be its last. Motion Twin are currently working on action roguelike Windblown. Evil Empire also tweeted their farewells to Dead Cells, teasing “shiny and new” projects in the works. You can’t tease us, Evil Empire! We’re from the future, and we know exactly what at least one of those projects is, possibly.

So, nothing untoward, then. Game releases, game gets updated for years, everyone has fun, and the devs eventually move on to new projects. Except, actually, it turned out there may have been more context to the seemingly amicable announcements. A few days later, former Dead Cells lead Sébastien Benard had some choice words for Motion Twin, saying:

“Since you’re asking me, I’d just say MT did the worst imaginable asshole move against Dead Cells and EE. Having seen first hand the actual situation behind the scene, I can honestly say I’m glad to not be part of this anymore. The official statement is total marketing bullshit, the way this situation happened is on a whole different level. I never imagined my former coop studio would turn out to be such greedy people. I wish the absolute best to EE for their next things, and hope people working there will survive this sudden economic cut.”

Bernard later apologised and clarified his stance in a blog post. Included in the post were assertions that “Motion Twin was responsible for the 1st million units, while Evil Empire made the 9 following millions,” and, “as the press slowly started to realize that the Dead Cells true architects were now EE, I can easily see how the panic happened at MT.” I’d encourage you to read our full post on the happenings, as there’s plenty more context in both the article and the comments. In short, it seems Evil Empire may not have been completely ready to cease development on Dead Cells when they did, and the decision was more an edict from a team who hadn’t actually been working on the thing for years. That’s Benard’s assessment, anyway – Evil Empire’s account of events may differ.

Meanwhile in Prince of Persia news, the Sands of Time remake is still is development at Ubisoft. Also, is it just me or can anyone else not think about Dead Cells without thinking of Dead Cell, the B-side to Papa Roach’s Y2K smash hit Last Resort? If not, you’re either younger than me or never wore eyeliner to school. Either way, congrats.

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