“This ain’t quite the Wild West as you know it,” the narrator intones, and it’s a fitting line to describe what we see in the first trailer for Weird West, the debut action-RPG from independent game developer WolfEye Studios.
WolfEye and publisher Devolver Digital made the announcement tonight at The Game Awards. Announced last month, this studio counts Arkane Studios cofounder and ex-creative director Raphaël Colantonio and ex-executive producer Julien Roby as its founders. Arkane is responsible for hits such as Dishonored and Prey, and it created a cult-classic with its debut action-RPG in 2002. They’re using the “distributed” model for game development. So the team is in Australia, Texas, and anywhere else they live and work.
Weird West is a different take on the America’s Wild West. The fantasy’s dark on this frontier, as the trailer shows what appear to be cultists, a werewolf, and an orc blacksmith. According to a studio spokesperson, you play through the legends of a group of heroes, experiencing their origin stories. Each one, they say, “unique and tailored to the actions taken — a series of high-stakes stories where everything counts and the world reacts to the choices you make.” It’s also an isometric game with a top-downish perspective.
Colantonio is WolfEye’s creative director. He helped found Arkane in 1999, serving as its president, CEO, and co-creative director during his tenure, which wrapped up in 2017. He was the co-creative director on 2012’s Dishonored and the creative director for 2017’s Prey. His earlier credits include 2006’s Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Arx Fatalis, in which he was the lead designer/director.
Roby is WolfEye’s executive producer. He spent more than a decade at Arkane, serving in a similar role for Dishonored, a leader producer/game designer for Dark Messiah, and a designer/associate producer for Arx Fatalis. After leaving Arkane, Roby joined 2K’s Hanger 13 to work as a senior producer for Mafia III and later as an executive producer for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel at 2K Australia, overseeing co-development with Gearbox Software.