Say Hello To Scorn, An Indie Game “Too Weird For Mainstream”
Scorn is absolutely a name you probably wouldn’t have heard of in gaming. That’s because up until now it has been a rather secret squirrel of a title. Rely on Horror has reported quite a tale about the game, and I figure it would be great to share it.
Rely on Horror reports that around a month ago the website received images in an email which depicted a horror game deeply inspired by H. R. Giger, and seemed to be an FPS. The writer, curious about the title since a previous ‘vague’ styled email a year ago, also with attached art, turned out to be The Evil Within, decided to ask NeoGAF about the title to see if the popular forum could find out what it was. The forum managed to procure more art for the game, in-game pre-alpha screenshots and a teaser image which pointed to it being for PS4 and having support for the console’s Project Morpehus VR Headset.
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The story popped up on other sites with the leaked art and screens of Sony Bend’s unannounced game, but obviously that was factually incorrect information and most likely opting for page hits. The game was apparently leaked to the Rely on Horror writer due to his enthusiasm for the genre displayed on NeoGAF and YouTube. The leak had been made by a developer of Scorn, opting for a fun kind of marketing move.
What a goose chase though, hey?
It was then discovered that the game was named Scorn, and was being made by newly formed indie studio Ebb Software. The studio currently has 7 full-time studio members, and has created a demo pitch for studios with a total of 12 people directly involved with the project. Ebb Software was assisted by numerous freelance artists it has connections with for the creation of concept art and such.
Here’s the funny part though. According to Ebb Software, after pitching their Scorn demo and idea to several studios and potential investors, the response they received was the same each time. The game was ‘too weird’ for mainstream appeal, it’s single-player focus was an issue, and it lacks the necessary hooks for the best way to monetize the game. Not surprising, isn’t it?
Rely on Horror posted the email exchange it had with Ebb Software in which this information was disclosed.
“I’m sorry for (the trickery) but we wanted to get some unfiltered impressions of our game without the “another indie game” stigma. We needed to show potential investors that even if it is a niche genre it’s not that small and that there are people interested in this kind of game and more importantly this kind of design. We haven’t had much luck with publishers and we hit the same barrier with investors that are not part of the gaming industry. They always consulted marketing experts and the so called experts always gave them the same answers: game is too weird, its single player, nowadays every game has to be online and free to play cause that’s the best way to monetize the players etc. We were not planning to go public with this for at least a year but decide to do it this in hope it will create some buzz so we can show the investors that there is market for it.”
The demo that Ebb Software had was made in just under a year and was a proof of concept that had been developed with the Unity 4 engine. However, the studio plans to move Scorn over to Unity 5. The aim of the game is to make a very different atmospheric first person horror action adventure game (a lot to swallow that), with unique mechanics in gunplay and within the world. The developer wants a coherent world worth exploring, that is packed with immersion.
“And yes it’s inspired by artwork of Beksinski, Giger and others but we tried to make it our own style. experience.”
You might be wondering why Scorn isn’t on Kickstarter, and that’s because Ebb Software believe a good Kickstarter project needs to have people behind it who made a great game and on top of that also have a great marketing campaign. Both of those are highly difficult. Kickstarter hype has died down in recent times, and the amount Ebb Software need for the game is probably more than they should be expecting based on other projects on the website. Ebb Software hasn’t ruled it out as a last resort though.
Scorn is mainly being developed for PC, but PS4 looks like a good potential option for the title.
Rely on Horror will be having an interview with the developers in exchange for Ebb Software’s deception.
You can check out the concept art down in the gallery below. I’ll try to make contact with the developers in future and try to assist with coverage of Scorn if possible.