People Can Fly Does Not Plan on Returning to the Painkiller Series
Even though they created the series, Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly does not plan on returning to the Painkiller IP.
While Polish developer People Can Fly is known for recent games like like Gears of War Judgment and Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, the game that put them on the map was Painkiller, a first person shooter for PC that released back in 2004. While a AAA shooter published by Square Enix is on the immediate horizon for People Can Fly, during a recent interview with CEO Sebastian Wojciechowski, DualShockers asked if the developer would ever consider revisiting Painkiller if it had the chance.
Sadly, the answer was no. The first and somewhat obvious reason for this mindset is that People Can Fly doesn’t own the Painkiller IP anymore. “We don’t own this IP, as far as I know the IP is owned by THQ Nordic,” commented Sebastian. He is correct, as the ever-growing publisher acquired the rights to the franchise all the way back in 2011 after acquiring JoWood and The Adventure Company when they were still known as Nordic Games.
Even if that wasn’t an issue and all the right cards lined up to let People Can Fly work on another Painkiller game, Sebastian Wojciechowski made it fairly clear to me that the developer wouldn’t bite. “We worked on this IP a long, long time ago. It was a great game obviously but to be honest there is currently maybe one developer at People Can Fly that really remembers this time.” It seems that if a new Painkiller was worked on by People Can Fly, not many of the series’ original creators would be at the studio to help.
Sebastian also seemed quite a bit weary on what the actual response to a brand new Painkiller game would be. “If you think about something that happened a fairly long time ago, more than fifteen years, you are getting to the point that…a lot of people remember this game and it have some ideas behind it,” Sebastian said, thinking that people’s own personal ideas of what the game should be would get in the way. “If you’d come back with a new version of that you’d find out that people are like ‘Oh, I thought about something else.’”
As People Can Fly worked on the game so long ago, if the studio had “an idea of how to bring it back to life” it’s quite possible that they’d “realize that it may not be the best idea,” after unveiling it and finding out what players’ personal preconceived notions for the game were. On top of all that, Sebastian Wojciechowski believes the Painkiller IP was milked by its previous owners too much, which would make it “unfruitful” to return to the IP in this crowded FPS market:
“This IP was then taken over by some other developers that worked on multiple iterations of this game, kind of milking the IP. I think it would be very very unfruitful for anyone to come back to this, especially taking into consideration that so many games in this genre are on the market. To sum it up, we don’t have any plans to come back to this IP.”
While a new Painkiller game could still materialize under THQ Nordic, don’t expect People Can Fly to be attached to the project at all. Even though it is a shame to see a developer leave and IP behind like this, most of the aforementioned reasons were out of People Can Fly’s control. Fortunately, Polish developer still seems to be quite confident when it comes to the future of Bulletstorm and their upcoming Square Enix game.