The future of the Dishonored franchise seems to be uncertain at the moment. According to lead designer at Arkane, Ricardo Bare, Dishonored “is resting for now.” He does say that anything could happen down the road, but as it stands now, it’s going to be a while before we visit Dunwall again, if indeed we ever do.
When Dishonored first launched back in 2012, it did really, really well, even reaching number 1 on Steam during that Thanksgiving weekend. And, for good reason. It’s a great game, and it still holds up really well. Then, Dishonored 2 came out in November 2016, and didn’t do nearly as well, despite positive reviews. We could discuss why that was, from it being too similar to the first game, to it launching really close to the likes of Final Fantasy XV, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that fans of the franchise got some pretty sad news recently.
According to a VG 24/7 interview with Ricardo Bare, lead designer at Arkane Studios, Dishonored will be going onto the back burner for the time being. He said: “I can’t say definitively what might happen down the road, anything could happen, but [Dishonored] is resting for now.” He continued: “The things that are important to us as a studio are coherent, deep world building and environmental storytelling – we’re always going to craft spaces that you feel like you’re visiting, whether it’s Dunwall or Talos 1. It’s just as important a character as the player or the people you meet. Then it’s improvisational gameplay – giving players a bunch of cool abilities and tools, then saying, ‘You figure it out, you be creative, you own the experience’. And, typically, we stick to first-person, though that’s not a hard rule and we might try other things from time to time.”
All in all, things don’t seem to bright on the Dishonored front. “Anything could happen” does sound at least somewhat hopeful, but overall, the situation seems pretty grim for the time being. No matter how you slice it, we won’t be seeing Dunwall again any time soon.