Dead Cells launched in early access in 2017, and developer Motion Twin’s brilliant mashup of roguelite and Metroidvania quickly found an audience. It was an excellent game when it launched, but its subsequent support through the early access period and beyond has been exceptional, and mostly free to boot. Most recently we were treated to the wonderful Castlevania DLC and there’s no sign of slowing down with its current developer Evil Empire.
That studio has now announced that Dead Cells has sold over 10 million copies, which is a remarkable milestone for an indie title like this to hit. That’s not all on PC of course, with the the game being ported to consoles and mobile, but it says everything about the quality of Dead Cells and its multitude of free and paid updates. I still load this up every so often and every time have a blast, and there’s now so much stuff in there it’s a delight to see what wacky combinations of buffs and weapons each run turns up.
“Following the success of Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania, Evil Empire has been exploring the path forward for the title as a whole,” reads the studio’s press release. “With years of successful updates and expansions behind it after taking over live ops of Dead Cells in 2019, the studio is tinkering with its time-tested methodology, experimenting with ideas for future updates and new ways for fans to enjoy one of their favorite roguelikes”.
To briefly explain the development situation, Evil Empire is what you might call a spinoff studio. It’s composed of folk from Dead Cells’ original developer Motion Twin who took over the reins of the game in 2019, and continue to work on it. Motion Twin is working on another unannounced game, and Evil Empire is also doing its own projects while continuing to support this.
Evil Empire CEO Steve Filby says Dead Cells “isn’t going anywhere,” with content planned until at least the end of 2024. As for what it’s working on in the background, Evil Empire has signed up to revive two retro gaming IPs that are, per Filby, “really big historic parts of the video game world.”