The release date for SOMA, the new horror game from us, the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is now official! The game will be out on PS4, as a digital-only release, on 22nd September.
Before I go into more detail about the game and its current status, here is a whopping 10 minutes of gameplay for you to enjoy:
We at Frictional Games started working on SOMA in the autumn of 2010, so the game has been in development for almost five years now. This makes it extremely satisfying for us to finally be able to reveal a release date and to look forward to unleashing our creation upon the world.
So why has the game taken so long to make?
The biggest issue has been how to handle our themes properly. We didn’t want SOMA to be just another ‘run from the monster’-affair. While it does have that sort of thing too, as our gameplay video shows, the horror runs way deeper.
The aim with SOMA is to explore the unsettling aspects of subjects such as consciousness, identity and our very existence. We didn’t want to do this by simply having some ham-fisted exposition now and then, we wanted the player to experience this first-hand.
Getting this right has been extremely hard as it’s not something you can easily iterate on. Creating that disturbing sense of existential horror just right takes hours of setup. It also requires a lot of assets to be in place before it can be tested properly. So while other games can make several iterations a week on their foundational elements, it’s taken us roughly a year for each iteration.
Two months ago we sent out the beta, our final iteration, to a bunch of testers. This was quite scary as we knew this would be our final major revision. We’d carried out two big tests prior to that and were pretty clear on what issues to hone in on, but of course we couldn’t be sure that we had made the right choices. If testers failed to have the experience that we wanted them to this time around, there wouldn’t have been much we could do about it.
So it came as a huge relief when the feedback came back overwhelmingly positive. Even those who gave us negative feedback experienced the crucial aspects of the game as we’d intended and liked the game overall. While there were a wide range of reactions, they were all strong and dealt with the topics we’d intended to raise. This makes us quite confident that we managed to achieve our goals and have created a horror game that delves into new, spine-chilling territory.
So all that’s left for us now is just to polish as much of the game as we can, and to make our final release the best one possible. We are all extremely excited about releasing SOMA, and looking forward to hearing what you guys think of it!