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Ukrainian dev turns to Kickstarter to finish Sherlock Holmes game

Ukrainian game developer Frogwares has announced Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened and asked its fans to help fund the final stages of the game’s development on Kickstarter.

Frogwares unveiled Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened on Thursday, explaining it takes place a few years after the events of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, which came out last November. Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is an Unreal Engine 4 remake of a 2007 game where Holmes and Watson take their first case together involving the strange disappearances linked to the Cthulhu Mythos of Lovecraftian legend.

The developers already locked in a bulk of the remake’s content, new features, and a reworked storyline that more closely ties in the events of the game to the adventures of the younger Sherlock from Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. All Frogwares needs now is the funding for additional resources, including new English voice-acting, extensive QA testing, and extra features and enhancement ideas it has.

(4K) Sherlock Holmes The Awakened | Reveal Trailer | PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch.

Like any indie game developer, Frogwares would normally secure production funds from the sales of their previous games. But today, the Kyiv-based company is asking fans for their help to donate funds to finish the production of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened in the midst of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. That’s why Frogwares turned to Kickstarter when a studio of its pedigree normally wouldn’t.

“Under normal circumstances, we would secure the funding for our next game ourselves from the sales of our previous titles and plan development accordingly,” Frogwares wrote in the Risks and Challenges section of its campaign. “But this war is continually throwing new challenges at us that each time requires we stop, regroup and adapt. This takes time, effort, and in many cases money that was normally set aside to fund the production of the game. This is why we have chosen to run a crowdfunding campaign.”

Frogwares comprises a team of over 90 developers, but some of them are either serving in the Ukrainian military to fend off Russian troops or went to work with humanitarian aid organizations, so it’s stretched thin. “This safety net will allow us to put our team’s needs and safety first as we adapt further without derailing the entire development and funding,” the developers write.

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is slated to launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Epic Games Store in February 2023 if it meets its $71,000 goal on Kickstarter. As of this writing, the campaign has raised over $56,000.

Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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