When Team Cherry released their first game in 2017 Hollow Knight, the independent developer was quickly greeted with exceptional sales and overwhelmingly positive reviews for its Metroidvania action adventure. Fans and critics alike have praised the game’s huge world, charming art style, and rewarding balance of platforming, exploration, and combat mechanics. However, this kind of success comes at a price, and the long development cycle of its follow-up title, Hollow Knight: Silksong, has left fans wondering if the game has encountered any development challenges.
However, Team Cherry’s long wait and lack of updates may be positive signs that the developer is focusing on creating. Hollow Knight: Silksong even bigger and better than its illustrious predecessor.
How Hollow Knight: Silksong turned into more than just DLC
Hollow Knight has been widely acclaimed for its deceptively huge game world, but Team Cherry had always hoped to make the game even bigger. While the game achieved its original Kickstarter goal, some ambitious goals weren’t fully funded, including having a fan-favorite recurring boss and Hornet character available as a playable character.
Following the huge success of their insect-themed epic, Team Cherry intended to rectify this via a DLC expansion to accompany The Grimm Troupe and Godmaster. However, the developer quickly realized that their plans for the new content deserved a separate title in their own right and Hollow Knight: Silksong was officially announced in early 2019.
Fan anticipation for the new title quickly snowballed, with some enthusiasts even drawing imaginary Hollow Knight: Silksong characters every day until the game’s release. However, although almost three years have passed since Hollow Knight: Silksong has been announced, Team Cherry has been notoriously low-key on its next release. This left many fans wondering if the developer was having a hard time completing the title or even if the game would be canceled.
What a long development cycle could mean for Hollow Knight: Silksong
Concerned fans have plenty to be optimistic about Hollow Knight: Song of Silk. The original Hollow Knight took years to develop, in part because Team Cherry was just a two-man team. Despite the subsequent hiring of an additional coder, the tiny size of the Australian developer meant that any large-scale project was always destined to take a similar amount of time to complete.
This methodical approach to development can be frustrating for fans, but is much more likely to result in a neat and successful finished product than a hasty and sloppy approach. Other notoriously rushed titles like Cyberpunk 2077 ran into seemingly endless issues with glitches, unfinished content, and disillusioned fans with the developer’s supposed crunch culture.
This is also the first time that Team Cherry has worked under this kind of spotlight, given that Hollow Knight was a first title without such expectations. Team Cherry may need to familiarize themselves with constant attention and scrutiny from fans if they maintain their track record of success. However, it is unreasonable to expect such a small team to communicate with fans in the same way as a seasoned AAA developer with a full PR department.
In addition, there are many examples of other games that have been successfully kept “under wraps” until development is almost complete. FromSoftware has mastered this approach in recent years, with fans receiving little information about the hit samurai action RPG. Sekiro until it’s pretty much done. FromSoftware takes a similar approach with its next fantasy epic Ancient ring.
However, fans remain nervous about Team Cherry’s upcoming game, and the developer’s lack of consistent updates is naturally fueling those concerns. The studio is undoubtedly encouraged to see that Hollow Knight: Song of Silk continues to receive such regular attention. The Cherry team can simply devote their time and resources to making sure the new version is as good as it can get.
Hollow Knight: Song of Silk is in development.
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