Cuphead's DLC Makes Me Excited For StudioMDHR's Next Game


What other wonders could the studio create in its old-timey cartoon style?

June 24, 2022

We’re now on the precipice of the release of the Cuphead DLC, The Delicious Last Course, which launches on June 30.

Three years in the making, and five years after the original game was released, the DLC is set to add the biggest island yet to the game, a new character, and five brand new bosses, each with their own meticulously hand-drawn animations. The content is set to cap off an incredible run for the title, which is often highlighted as one of the pinnacles of indie gaming.

And once that’s been released, StudioMDHR will be working on its next project, which has me very, very excited. Here’s why.


It’s clear, based on the timeframe for The Delicious Last Course, that StudioMDHR’s next game is some way away yet. The studio likes to take its time with games to ensure near-perfection. And that’s fine.

In our interview with Maja Moldenhauer, Studio Director and Executive producer, it was clear that quality is key. Maja stated that “Timeline has never been a driver for us” and that “it’s about quality.” This bodes well for the future. Without internal pressures of rushing things out, you’re almost assuring, at least with a studio as talented as MDHR, that whatever they put out is going to be well thought out and polished. Plus, without crunch it’s a good working environment for the development team.

Work has already begun on the next title from StudioMDHR, but Maja remained tight-lipped when I questioned her about it. The main takeaway from that question is the fact that they “love 2D animation” and “love pencil to paper”. And Maja confirmed that is what the team is “gonna continue with.”

Part of what made Cuphead so special is its wholly unique art and animation style and music. Every single frame is hand-drawn with love and care, and the game’s 1930s aesthetic lends itself well to whatever may come further down the line.

And while whatever that is remains a mystery, there is so much potential from this style. The Cuphead IP has gone mainstream now, with a TV show, merchandise and an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s hard to see that not being utilised further, but whether that’s in a direct sequel or something different, who knows?

These characters and this style would work perfectly in a range of different genres. A natural evolution for me would be a side-scrolling beat-em-up. It’s been proven with the run ‘n gun levels in Cuphead that these characters work in a sidescrolling environment, so a beat-em-up seems a perfect fit. Teaming up with friends playing as Cuphead, Mugman, Miss Chalice and whichever other side characters make the cut would be fantastic. Plus there is such a depth of enemies to pull from and adapt into this style, I’d dig it.

You could still end the levels with a typically Cuphead boss, but getting there would involve brawling (rather than shooting) your way through a range of exciting, hand-drawn stages.

The side-scrolling beat ’em-up genre is also undergoing somewhat of a resurgence, with the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredders Revenge, Streets of Rage 4 and Battletoads all returning and performing extremely well – both critically and commercially. It’d be cool to see MDHR strike while the iron is hot.

But a side-scroller isn’t the only genre the Cuphead brand could lend itself to. How about a platformer, a Mario + Rabbids style strategy game, or even a visual novel-type game? The possibilities really are endless. Cuphead Kart anybody?

Plus, you can’t forget the budget. Initially, the Cuphead team would have been working on a limited budget (albeit supported by Microsoft), but with the success of the franchise over the last few years, you have to imagine that whatever comes next could have significantly more money attached to it. Not that a bigger budget always helps, especially with what the team managed to do with the original game, but it certainly can’t do it any harm.

It’s all of this that makes me excited for what’s next from StudioMDHR. Their first outing was so polished, so successful, and ultimately so good, that whatever is in the works is bound to be a banger.

Sam Woods

Sam (He/Him) is the Managing Editor at DualShockers. He's been playing video games for as long as he can remember and you can regularly find him on his Nintendo Switch. When he's not playing games, he'll no doubt be suffering watching his beloved Ipswich Town.

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