Horror movie hitmaker Blumhouse is branching out into games
The company behind horror film hits like Get Out and M3GAN has confirmed its intention to make horror-themed games.
Blumhouse studios is launching a Blumhouse Games label, which plans to work with existing indie developers to publish scary titles on consoles, PC, and mobile platforms.
Blumhouse aims to deal in games with a budget of under $10 million (£8.31m), far lower that the cost of typical AAA games. Grand Theft Auto V reportedly cost £220 million to produce, and started development way back in 2008, while CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 cost an estimated £260 million to make.
This formula appears an attempt to recreate the sort of success the company has had in film. 2017 film Get Out had a production budget of £3.75 million, and made £212 million at the box office. Not all of its movies are smash hits, but their lower budgets mean one great success can offset numerous less successful releases.
“There’s a unique opportunity for horror and genre in the indie game space,” says Blumhouse Games’s president Zach Wood. He is an industry veteran, and a producer on games including 2018’s Prey: Mooncrash and 2012’s Twisted Metal.
“I’m thrilled about teaming up with Blumhouse to meaningfully leverage the company’s brand, reputation, and creative talent,” Wood explained in a statement.
The studio is yet to announce any specific developer partnerships or titles in development. However, the state of horror gaming offers clues as to some avenues it may take.
Guildford-based Supermassive Games has released four horror games as part of the Dark Pictures Anthology since 2019. These are relatively short narrative-led experiences, similar in style to an interactive movie.
Phasmophobia by Kinetic games is a co-op multiplayer haunted house experience, again by a British developer, that became a viral hit after it was streamed online by hugely popular content creators.
Horror games remain a favourite of streamers, not least because a face contorted in fear — real or otherwise — makes for good content.