Aardman Animations, the creative studio behind Wallace & Gromit and other iconic stop-motion series, is developing a new, open-world video game based on an original IP.
The game will focus on “inventive mechanics and compelling characters”, according to several job listings on the studio’s website, and is described as a “mad, open-world” game that sits within the “3D action-adventure genre”.
The job adverts make heavy mention of the game’s original IP and world-building, with the team looking to create “amazing, hilarious, surprising and varied characters” with defined lore. Elsewhere, the game is described as featuring a narrative focus, and the same “humor, love and craftsmanship” that Aardman’s animations have become known for.
The listings suggest the unannounced game will be developed for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
Aardman has partnered with a “major publisher” to produce the game. Although no specifics are given, the studio announced at the end of 2020 it had teamed up with Bandai Namco to develop a “brand-new IP”; the same language used to describe this title.
The three main roles advertised are a gameplay programmer/technical designer, level and narrative designer, and character artist.
Analysis: a narrative-driven, claymation epic?
Aardman looks to have already set itself a high bar for this unannounced title. Creating an original IP rooted in a character-rich world, compelling stories, and surrounding lore is no small task, and one that’s made that much harder when trying to capture the charm and humor of the studio’s beloved animations.
But Aardman’s no stranger to video games. It previously co-developed the narrative-driven, WW1 adventure game 11-11: Memories Retold, which was released back in 2018 to a positive reception.
As an action-adventure game, this new project sounds like quite a different beast that could go in many directions. Unfortunately, as tantalizing as a full stop-motion video game from the minds behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit might sound, it’s probably a little too much to expect from a small studio.
The unannounced game is unlikely to pop up anytime soon. Development won’t have gone far if the studio is still hiring several high-level positions and creating its narrative world.
If you’re desperate to get a fix of charming British witticisms on the small screen, there are several Wallace & Gromit games to play in the meantime. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier created the Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit tie-in game back in 2005, and Telltale developed an episodic series of Wallace & Gromit adventure games in 2009.
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