A video published two months ago by IGN on Youtube features a game called Black Myth: Wukong. The video has been seen almost 7 million times. This game will probably be very popular worldwide, but it will especially be among Chinese gamers.
The video actually comes from the original Chinese software house, Game Science. Game Science planned to use it to recruit new staff members. Shortly after, though, it appeared on Youtube.
Black Myth: Wukong doesn’t plan to use the hype strategy
The trailer looks very detailed, but the project is far from over. The total development of the game will take 5 years, and it started in 2018. This is not only to represent the quantity of detail involved in the game development. We need to consider also the small size of the team. Just recently they’ve got to around 30 people, and they do not plan to expand above 40-45 members for now.
Part of the founding team comes from Tencent, the biggest gaming company of China.
Their idea is to not provide any further trailers. At least, to not doing that if they cannot show something even more enticing than what is already available. Indeed, this is fairly different from the typical strategies used in the market. For example, to try to increase the hype of the consumers by providing sneak peeks. It is also different from another, more recent, strategy to release the game without the full content planned for it. In general, after the release there would be some DLCs or free updates with more content.
Perhaps this is to differentiate from most of the Chinese software houses. These normally work on free to play/pay to win games and cannot often commit to a fairly long term plan. Not that there are many software houses able to develop a game for so long. Such a move requires a massive budget and advanced self-control capabilities.
Could Black Myth spark a new Chinese wave in the global gaming market?
Considering the title of the game, and the fact it is centered about the dark story behind Wukong, it is possible that there will be more games of the same series. After all, Chinese mythology is extremely vast and while Wukong is one of the most famous characters to represent, there is plenty of space for others. Also the Chinese history has many interesting stories, often pervaded with fiction in the local folklore, and it is totally possible to do far more than something inspired to the Three Kingdoms.
A series of action/adventure RPGs coming from China could be a fresh experience for a market dominated by Japanese and American producers. Products coming from initially small software houses in Poland (CDProjektRed) and Sweden (Paradox Interactive) recently had a huge success. We do not see any reason why Game Science could be any different. Both the companies mentioned had very long development time and still experienced a booming growth after a while.
Why indie software houses get so much attention
A perhaps strange rule of the gaming sector is that, the bigger a software house becomes, the harder it is to keep up with the requirements of the fanbase. Many choose to follow the market and eventually lose what brought them the success in the first place. Some try to keep working at a relatively slow pace and do not manage well their timetables, having increasingly unsatisfied waiting customers.
IGN pointed out – as many, many users online – that this game has shown that a small group of people can provide a much more interesting trailer (and, probably, game) than huge conglomerates do. Perhaps it is also due to this practically unexplored side of the story of Wukong (at least outside China). Maybe it is also because of the gameplay: after all, Wukong should have 72 different transformations, according to the story.
Whatever it is the reason, and as much as people both in and outside China want to play it, there are still around 3 years to wait.