At Gamescom Opening Night Live, former Bethesda CEO Jeff Gardiner presented his new studio Something Wicked Games and talked about its debut project: a supernatural role-playing game with an open world called Wyrdsong.
Wyrdsong is conceived as a dark historical fantasy set in a fictional version of medieval Portugal. Although we don’t know any details about the story yet, players will take on the role of a fully customizable protagonist and interact with the world through RPG mechanics, including battles and quests.
We also know from Gardiner that Wyrdsong will be designed to make players doubt reality, and will play with concepts such as an unreliable narrator, choices and consequences, the supernatural, and Templar-like conspiracies. We can also get a better idea of what to expect by taking a look at Something Wicked’s talent: at Bethesda, Gardiner’s credits include Skyrim, Fallout 3, 4 and 76. His co-founder and design director Charles Staples previously worked at Obsidian Entertainment, where he worked on Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds. They were joined by the former technical director of Fallout Shelter and The Elder Scrolls: Blades Ekram Rasid.
Wyrdsong is still in pre-alpha, and details such as consoles, multiplayer capabilities, and the release window have not yet been disclosed. We know for sure that it is made on Unreal Engine 5, and Something Wicked is currently significantly recruiting staff to fully implement the project. The studio is headquartered in Maryland, but it is completely remote and has received $13.2 million in seed funding from NetEase to make Wyrdsong a reality.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Gardiner to talk in detail about Wyrdsong, his departure from Bethesda and his plans for Something Wicked — the full interview can be found here.
Rebecca Valentine is an IGN news reporter. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
The original version of this article assumed the active participation of Paul Haban in the project. After the publication, IGN was informed that he participated in the project only at an early stage, and not on a permanent basis, and the link was removed.