We Happy Few dev’s next game won’t release in early access

Compulsion Games has shared some details about its next game, including that it won’t release in early access like We Happy Few did.

Microsoft’s E3 presentation highlighted a number of projects in development at its various first party studios. However, there was no mention of Compulsion Games, the studio behind We Happy Few which Microsoft bought in 2018.

For anyone who is a fan of Compulsion’s work, there’s no need to worry as the studio’s next project is in full development, and we even now know a few details about it now.

In an interview with French website Xbox Squad (as translated by VGC), Compulsion’s community developer Naila Hadjas explains that, unlike We Happy Few, it will be a third person story driven game. This means that Compulsion won’t be releasing an early access build like it did with We Happy Few.

‘With our new game, a narrative, third person, story game, I don’t think we need any feedback. It’s not like a roguelike where you replay it multiple times and you need data to make sure the experience is fun.

‘We Happy Few has evolved a lot, at the beginning it was a roguelike and then we added a story because people loved the world, the characters, so we said ‘ok, we’re going to make a game with an end and a story’. The next game is a story, we know where we are going.’

We Happy Few entered development before Compulsion was acquired by Microsoft so, with the company’s backing, it’s been able to expand its workforce and, presumably, take advantage of Microsoft’s in-house tech and services.

‘We have doubled the workforce and we are adapting to it. The goal is to expand our zany universe, to continue to make our mark in video games as a studio that likes to make unique games, in little-used settings. For now, that’s our goal. Pursue our ‘legacy’, our heritage, while remaining true to ourselves.’

As for when the game will be announced, Nadjas admits she has no idea. At the very least, you can assume that it will remain an Xbox exclusive. Considering production began shortly after We Happy Few’s release, it’ll most likely be available for both Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

It sounds like Compulsion is taking onboard lessons it learned with We Happy Few. Despite the advertising suggesting it would be something more akin to BioShock, with a heavy emphasis on narrative, it turned out to be a survival game with some light roguelike elements and procedurally generated environments.

It’s possible that Compulsion will try to make the game a lot of people thought We Happy Few was going to be. Whether it succeeds or not is another question entirely; one that won’t be getting an answer any time soon.

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