The identity of the Throne: Who is Mike Bitell?

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The Tron series hasn’t had much luck in the last decade, but Tron has a brand new detective game called Tron Identity, partly created by Mike Bitell. When the original film “Tron” became a cult classic, Disney tried to revive the sci-fi series back in 2010 with “Tron: Legacy”, a striking sequel to Legacy, even before this style of films was in vogue. However, “Tron: Legacy” did not achieve large box office receipts, as did the video games associated with it. However, Disney is not shy about giving the popular IP another chance.

Just announced at the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase, Tron Identity has been described as a puzzle game with visual novel elements between puzzle segments to continue the narrative. With such a large intellectual property, most fans would have believed that Disney would want a major developer to work on the game, but, to a pleasant surprise, it was entrusted to Bithell Games, a studio headed by popular British game designer and podcaster Mike Bithell.

Who is Mike Bitell?

A relative newcomer to the world of video game development, Mike Bitell first appeared online in 2010, when he developed an early version of the game Thomas Was Alone and released it for free on Kongregate. In just the first week, this prototype of “Thomas was Alone” collected more than 100,000 auditions. After the success of the prototype in early 2011, Bossa Studios hired Bitell to create a full version of the game.

Bithell’s first major game, Thomas Was Alone, released in June 2012, quickly became one of the most famous indie games of all time, as well as one of the most critically acclaimed, receiving several nominations for gaming awards. After leaving Bossa Studios in 2013, Bitell worked on the Robin Hood-inspired game Volume, which was released in 2015 and received generally positive reviews. A year later, Bithell released a virtual game called EarthShape, which featured the voice of the beloved British comedian Sue Perkins, whom American fans probably know best from The Great British Bake Off. In 2017 and 2018, Bithell released two shorter narrative titles titled Subsurface Circular and Quarantine Circular, respectively. Despite the fact that these two short games are very different from his previous works, they received very good reviews from critics, who praised the dialogues and characters of the game.

In 2019, Mike Bitell tried the popular license for the first time, becoming the lead developer of John Wick Hex. Inspired by John Wick’s calmness in the face of death, John Wick Hex uses a unique tactical mechanic, according to which each action requires a certain amount of time, forcing the player to be as calm, collected and methodical as Keanu Reeves’ favorite killer. John Wick Hex also received fairly high marks across the board, although the smoothness of the game and the overall presentation were slightly criticized.

While Mike Bitell has been quite prominent in the gaming industry over the past decade or so, he has often been seen discussing the monumental barriers erected in front of indie developers, he is perhaps best known for his appearance as co-host of Play, Watch, Listen, one of the most popular gaming podcasts over the past few years. The debut in November 2019 with an episode about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Play, Watch, Listen brings together four gaming industry experts, Alan Pierce, Troy Baker, Austin Wintory and, of course, Mike Bitell. Over the past three years, the four co-hosts have discussed almost every major pop culture event, from the cost of modern video games to accessibility options in God of War Ragnarok, workplace harassment, writing video game soundtracks, developing India and everything in between. Mike Bitell is one of the most passionate voices in the industry right now, and he seems to be the perfect fit to lead the development of Tron Identity.

Tron Identity will be released on PC in 2023.

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