Ukrainian studio Frogwares announced their next project via a blog post earlier today. The developers of The Sinking City opened their announcement by acknowledging the impact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine, now in its fourth month, has had on the studio. The company has chronicled this experience on their Twitter page, which includes photos of the devastation in Kyiv, where the studio is based. “Because of the war,” the statement continues, “we have to adapt. And the work must continue.”
The studio’s next game, codenamed Palianytsia, is a horror-mystery game in the vein of The Sinking City. The studio’s announcement on Twitter included screenshots that show a tropical setting and a promise that more information about the game will be revealed soon. Frogwares’ previous games include The Sinking City, a Lovecraftian horror-mystery game, and the Sherlock Holmes series of adventure games, which has been in production since 2002.
While the studio had originally been at work on another open-world project similar to these titles, they acknowledged that Palianytsia is more streamlined than their other projects, and therefore more feasible to complete under present circumstances. “As an independent studio”, the statement reads, “we always have to balance our resources and workflow to be able to deliver our games. But the war has thrown notable hurdles at us and our established process.” It goes on to detail the benefits this smaller scope provides their team: “Perhaps we can be smarter about this, and create a project with an easier turnaround and a tighter scope- but still ambitious, packed with quality, and with great storytelling and mystery behind it.”
Frogwares is far from the first studio to be impacted by the war in Ukraine. Several months ago, GSC Game World, developers of the STALKER series, called on readers to “help those in need” in the aftermath of the initial invasion. Polygon interviewed members of Vostok Games, Red Beat, and 4A games in February, all of whom emphasized the need for international attention and aid to those affected by the war. International developers and storefronts responded in various ways, including the itch.io Bundle for Ukraine, which raised $6.3 million over the month of March to support the International Medical Corps and the charity Voices of Children.