A local indie studio will soon find its popular characters on mobile app stores and mainstream consoles thanks to some key partnerships and the viral success of its games.
Bendy and the Ink Machine began as a side project for Ottawa’s Mike Mood, who created the game with his partner, an artist known as theMeatly. The PC game was a viral hit, with YouTube personalities streaming themselves playing the game, and it racked up millions of views.
Bendy – a sinisterly cute fellow – and his friends have proven themselves endearing characters, with fan enthusiasm for official merchandise prompting deals that brought clothing and collectibles to the shelves of retail chain Hot Topic.
This past week, the studio unveiled two more major announcements: Bendy and the Ink Machine will soon be available on all major consoles, and a spinoff mobile game is coming as well.
Hitting the mainstream console market is a rare feat for an Ottawa studio. Mood says it was made possible through a partnership with Rooster Teeth Games, a studio he’s been a fan of himself for more than a decade.
Mood says he’s been working with the company’s head publisher David Eddings for the past seven months on a deal that would bring Bendy to Microsoft’s Xbox One, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. With the game expected to hit shelves before the end of the year, he says it’s hard to believe his side project has come this far.
“We're extremely excited about this opportunity to bring Bendy onto consoles, as developers this is quite surreal having our game in both digital and physical form. Seeing our game on the shelves will be a dream come true for us all,” Mood said in an email to Techopia.
It’s a local team-up bringing Bendy to the mobile market. A spinoff game, Bendy in Nightmare Run, is being developed by fellow Ottawa studio Karman Interactive.
The collaboration comes from a personal place for Mood, who got his start in game development by working as a contractor with Karman three years ago.
“I worked with them for two years, and I learned almost everything I know from those guys. It’s been an amazing experience to go from basically being employed by Karman Interactive to running my own company with theMeatly and now hiring Karman to make a game for us,” Mood said in a video posted to Twitter.
The main Bendy story remains under development, with chapter four in the pipeline. The mobile game is set to hit iOS and Android app stores sometime before the next chapter release.