Deadly Premonition and D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die developer Hidetaka ‘Swery’ Suehiro comes out of retirement to make horror games with his new studio, White Owls.
Deadly Premonition released seven years ago as a budget title. Retailing for just $20 at launch, Deadly Premonition‘s poor graphics, weak voice acting, and frustrating controls earned it low marks across the board, but it still developed a cult following for its absurd story, weird characters, and surprisingly strong sense of humor. Deadly Premonition creator Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro designed a few games after Deadly Premonition, but announced his retirement after struggling with health issues. Luckily for fans, Swery is back with a new studio and a plan to create horror games.
Based out of Osaka, Japan, Swery’s new studio is called White Owls. In an interview with Gamasutra, Swery went into detail about his new venture, insinuating that the work he was doing with his previous company, Access Games, was leaving him unfulfilled. By starting an independent studio, Swery will have the freedom to create the games he is passionate about making.
“We want to create games for YOU, the people who like us. Games that are bizarre, scary, grotesque, and dreamlike, yet also have a strange realism. Games that remind you of the past, that are comical, and sad yet lovable. Those are the kind of games we’ll be making.”
Of course, a video game studio needs talent if it hopes to produce quality products, and to meet that requirement, Swery claims to have hired developers with years of experience that are all “brimming with motivation and creativity.” Swery stopped short of naming any specific game developers that have joined his White Owls team, but did say that he he has “assembled a team of elites” to work on projects with him.
Even though Swery has just revealed the existence of White Owls to the world, the team is already working on its first gaming project. So far, there are little to no details about what Swery’s new project will entail, but based on his previous comments, it seems likely that it will be a bizarre horror game similar to his previous titles like Deadly Premonition and D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die. We also know that White Owls intends to have an international presence, so expect Swery’s new game to be localized outside of Japan.
It’s possible Swery’s new game could be exclusive to Xbox. After all, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die was an Xbox One timed-exclusive, and was even one of the few games that was built from the ground-up for the Kinect. Swery’s past relationship with Microsoft could see his new game favor Microsoft’s console over Sony’s, and could be a way for Microsoft to generate more interest for the Xbox One in Japan.
Of course, it’s worth noting that many of Swery’s games fly under the radar, with neither Deadly Premonition nor D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die selling all that well compared to other games. However, if Swery is able to create games aimed at the fans of Deadly Premonition and D4 while also drawing in newcomers, then White Owls studio could take his career to new heights.
Deadly Premonition is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.