by Joseph Leray
According to a set of recent job postings, the developers behind "Dear Esther" and "Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs" have "just signed a development deal with a major publisher and are expanding our team for a next-generation console project, scheduled for release in summer 2015." Brighton, England-based thechineseroom is looking for a VFX artist, environment artist, audio designer and project manager as they staff up for the new game.
This isn't exactly the hardest-hitting news: game developers develop games. It's what they do.
Still, it marks a significant shift from thechineseroom's previous efforts: "Dear Esther" and the "Amnesia" follow-up are small, indie affairs for PC, Mac, and Linux, as opposed to this new publisher-funded console title. Furthermore, thechineseroom currently consists of eight people -- hiring another four increases the staff by 50%.
Last year thechineseroom showed a new game, "Everybody's Gone to the Rapture," to certain members of the press. According to an interview with Beefjack, "Rapture" was supposed to be a story-driven, open-world game about the apocalypse, powered by CryEngine 3. There's been no new information on the game since last July, though, and the game's previous URL now redirects to a "Current Game" page on thechineseroom's website.
When asked if the unannounced game was related to "Everybody's Gone to the Rapture," creative director Dan Pinchbeck replied via e-mail, "We can't comment, no, sorry. The usual radio silence during negotiations I'm afraid."
More imminently, "Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs," the follow up to Frictional Games' "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" is scheduled for release sometime this summer for PC, Mac, and Linux.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter