Asobo Studio's A Plague Tale: Innocence was a bit of a surprise when it arrived on the scene back in 2019. The studio had been around for a while at that point, but we'd never really seen this style of game from the French developer. As it turns out, some major setbacks helped form what is now one of the team's crowning achievements.
In a new tell-all interview with Eurogamer, the dev has spoken about all things A Plague Tale, right from conceptualising the series through to A Plague Tale: Requiem's release late last year. At one stage, the series was almost dead before it began.
"The game was a mess, It was awful in terms of gameplay, of story, of everything - nothing was holding together, nothing was quite right [...] And it was a huge punch in our face."
The first game's 'mock reviews' didn't help - these reviews were pre-release assessments of where the game was at during development. They weren't favourable at all, with Innocence's predicted review score coming in at around 55-60%. At this stage, the team basically restarted development on the series.
"We've done I think the most dangerous thing that we could do: we stopped everything. We stopped everything - development, polish, debug, everything. And we took a step back - everyone took a step back.
I asked everyone in the team to play the game, fully, and to think about what is good, what is not working. And we've redone everything that we've pointed out."
Thankfully, that development restart eventually led to the full release version of a Plague Tale: Innocence, and subsequently its sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem, which launched on Xbox Game Pass in October. These games are some of the best narrative adventures you can find on Xbox, and we're glad to see that the series thrived after an early development scare.