***https://youtu.be/BYcEhwdEjvE***video form of post with more opinion in the end
Back in 2017, after the release of their second game Outlast II, Red Barrels announced that there would be an Outlast III. If you're unsure or never heard of Outlast, it's a first person horror game that throws you into the maw of a Satan fueled, erection ridden, heroine dream where you'll be forced to constantly run away from people that shouldn't exist, or monsters that you hope never exist. Well, now there's a third title on the way, but it may not be as d**k filled as the last two, at least *I* hope not.
Outlast came out back in 2013/2014 and was a huge hit in the indie platform, becoming one of the most popular new IPs from an independent studio this decade. Last year, Outlast II came out, receiving less praise for almost feeling like a copy and paste of its predecessor, among other things. The series made Red Barrels around $64 million, so it'd only make sense to make it a trilogy unless you follow the path of almost every other trilogy where the quality of the product goes way down, which is where we come to Philippe Morin's comment on changing things up.
In an interview at Berlin's Quo Vadis conference with GameIndustry.biz, Philippe Morin spoke about the story behind his company and Outlast. During the interview, Morin explained the idea behind changing the formula.
"If you'd told me a year ago that the project we're currently working on was going to be our next thing, I would have said, 'Nah, I don't think so'. It's an internal struggle.", Morin says. "On the one side you have to stay motivated as a developer, but at the same time we have to think about stuff as company owners. That's why it took us several months to find the sweet-spot between doing something that's going to please the fans, and something that we're driven by personally. In big studios, they can say, 'If you're burnt out we can always give the IP to a different team'. But that's not the case here."
"We're prototyping, and the way I want to approach this is to get a prototype that we're really happy about, and then figure out the best way to get it done. Are we going to need the same kind of budget? Can it be lower? Right now, I don't know. All I know is that I always make sure we have options on the table: plan A, B, C and D. When you get to the river, you decide which bridge you want to cross. I always tell the team that, since the studio is owned by developers, our interests as developers is as important as our interests as shareholders. We don't want to change that."