There are a few things you can always expect when it comes to E3 — huge announcements, news leaks, awkward moments between hosts, and pure unadulterated zaniness from Devolver, to name a few. One of the more unfortunate things you can expect at E3, however, is for certain games to just simply vanish. Sometimes, perhaps even most of the time, they return with tweaks but others are thrust into game development purgatory while their respective studios decide what to do with them. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with the highly-anticipated artsy adventure game Everwild.
According to a report by VGC, Rare Limited’s Everwild, as we so briefly knew it, has been scrapped in its current form. Turns out that after the departure of creative director Simon Woodroffe last year, the studio decided to completely overhaul the game’s design and direction, as well as the team working on it. According to folks involved with the game’s development, Everwild has essentially been “restarted from scratch,” meaning it will likely be some time before we see it again. While unfortunate, this news makes sense following Everwild’s lack of presence at this year’s E3 and comments made by journalist Jeff Grubb late last week.
VGC also reported that the team behind Everwild is now “optimistically” targeting a 2024 release date under the new leadership of one of Rare’s most senior creative employees, Gregg Mayles. According to Everwild‘s executive producer Louise O’Connor, however, the team has “never been stronger” than when Mayles was added to the project. She went on to say the team is continuing “to work hard to realize our vision and to bring the magic of nature in Everwild to life for players around the world. The team behind Everwild continue to shape a truly magical experience and remain focused and excited about creating a new game centered around a truly unique, new world.”
While this might be a lot of us to process, according to folks familiar with Everwild‘s development this news isn’t particularly shocking. According to the VGC report, the project was struggling to find direction on its current path.
According to people familiar with its development, Everwild’s small team had struggled to define a clear direction for the title, beyond its striking art style and soundtrack.
As of last year, the game was a third-person adventure with god game elements, we were told. One person said that, in particular, a mandate from Rare’s leadership to not have any combat in the game had led to road blocks in design.
While we’re certainly a fan of the trend of games shifting away from combat, it’s understandable how forgoing it could cause the Sea of Thieves developers some pause. Here’s hoping by next year’s E3 Everwild might resurface and, even more importantly, look just as good as it did back in 2019.