Duality Games is working on the stealth-horror game called Unholy. It’s not due out until 2019 but the game is already courting a lot of controversy when it was revealed that Duality Games’ upcoming first-person horror game is being published by Playway S.A. Yes, the same Playway that published Agony.
To make things more confusing (and possibly damaging) is that for a brief time Madmind Studios, the developers of Agony, were listed on the Steam store page as the publisher.
Gamers instantly took to the Steam forums to ask about Madmind’s relationship with Duality. It also spilled over into multiple forums until Madmind CEO, Tomek Dutkiewicz, made the following reply on the Steam forums back on July 10th, 2018…
“Hi, We – Madmind Studio, are not involved in the development of this title. Unholy is a new horror game in the portfolio of our investor- Playway S.A, and it’s developed by the Duality Studio.
“Madmind Studio is just a steam publisher of this title.”
This didn’t quite satisfy the curiosity of the community, especially given that Madmind had stated that they were in financial trouble leading up to the release and just after the release of Agony, so everyone was curious how they could help financially publish and support a second game?
In a separate thread on July 23rd, 2018, Dutkiewicz decided to go into a bit more detail about the relationship between Madmind and Duality, explaining that their account was simply being used to help publish Unholy on Steam since developers don’t have to pay anything if their game is being published by a studio that already has a game on Steam…
“[…] Madmind is listed as a publisher (on steam), mainly because thanks to that Unholy has a greater visibility – which works, of course, both ways.
“That is why it is a nice and positive arrangement for us.
“Being already a proven publisher on Steam, the release of a new game on our account costs us almost nothing and can only help Duality Studio. This is a purely friendly arrangement that Madmind does not have and will not have any financial benefits.
“I can also confirm that the Madmind team is not involved in Unholy production, has no stake in the company, and does not invest in a Duality Studio.
“I hope it’s a satisfying answer enough.”
So why are these comments from July important? Because Duality Games released a new trailer back on October 12th and concerns about Madmind and Agony cropped up from gamers. You can check it out below.
According to Blues News, this prompted for Duality Games’ Tomasz Strzałkowski to comment once more about Unholy and Agony being different games from different developers…
“We have many questions about that, so I want to clear this: – it’s completely different developer from Madmind Studio and its ‘Agony’. I mean – we won’t make same errors like with Agony. We know how to avoid them.”
The current Steam page no longer lists Madmind or Playway as publishers on the project, even though the latest trailer is hosted on Playway’s YouTube channel.
It’s not hard to see why some people think that the game is from Madmind given that the teaser trailer itself seems to show a disturbing look at a world filled with monstrosities and plenty of horrors that are reminiscent of Agony. The difference is that instead of venturing into hell, players take on the role of a woman seeking her missing child in a caste-like dystopia where totalitarianism and extra-dimensional horrors intersect.
Unholy isn’t due out until 2019, but the issues of Agony and a lot of the broken promises that circulated the controversial release of the game are still fresh in the minds of gamers.
Unfortunately for Duality, it’s going to be an uphill struggle to separate themselves from Madmind now that gamers know that there’s at least some form of affiliation there.
Some of the controversy surrounding Unholy might dissipate once the unrated version of Agony releases on October 31st, since a lot of the problems surrounding Madmind spawns from them promising and then failing to deliver the uncensored version of Agony earlier this year.