When Biomutant was announced in 2017, we were in awe of the wonderfully strange world that Experiment 101, founded by former Avalanche Studios employees, was pitching. This game was originally slated for release in 2018, but this year has come and gone with little information from the Swedish development studio. Now that we are in 2021, Experiment 101 and publisher THQ Nordic have finally announced a release date for Biomutant: May 25. But what took so long and why has the developer been so silent for much of that time?
In one recent interview with IGN, studio director Stefan Ljungqvist said this was largely related to the scope of the project contrasting with the size of the team. The game features a dense map full of NPCs, outposts, and bizarre creatures to meet, along with a changing protagonist, so even though the world itself isn’t massive for the size of other open world maps, it’s an ambitious project. “It’s a big game, a big bite for 20 people,” Ljungqvist said.
While open world games are often ambitious by definition, Ljungqvist said the script continues to grow, making it an increasingly difficult component. “If you look at the script, at the end of 2019 I think it was around 80 to 85,000 words. It’s more of a novel, ”he said. “But in the last game, it’s closer to 250,000 words. It was a great thing, to wrap up this script.”
On top of that, Ljungqvist said a lot of the effort is focused on polishing and quality assurance. “It’s been a huge job for QA because it’s not easy in an open world game to find them,” he said. “And once they’ve been found, we have to fix them, and that poses an additional challenge for us, being a small team.”
Ljungqvist touched on other topics in the interview as well, including why the team decided to release on the latest generation platforms instead of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S. You can read more about that and on other topics in read the full interview on IGN.
Biomutant is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 25. To learn more about Biomutant, see our impressions of Gamescom 2018.