helldivers-2-was-constructed-on-an-obscure-swedish-engine-discontinued-in-2018:-‘our-loopy-engineers-needed-to-do-every-part-with-no-help’

You have heard of Unreal Engine and Unity, two engine juggernauts that energy most of your Steam library, however you have most likely by no means heard of Bitsquid. It was an obscure game engine utilized in a handful of notable Swedish indies of the early 2010s. In 2014, Autodesk purchased Bitsquid, renamed it Autodesk Stingray, then discontinued it in 2018.

One of many final video games launched utilizing Stingray was Fatshark’s Warhammer 40,000: Darktide in 2022. The most recent Stingray game is Helldivers 2.

Responding to an article on game improvement weblog 80 Stage, Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt confirmed that their smash hit, PlayStation-published co-op shooter is working on abandonware.

“The venture began earlier than it was discontinued,” Pilestedt tweeted. “Our loopy engineers needed to do every part, with no help to construct the game to parity with different engines.”

One may fairly assume that if Helldivers 2 was nonetheless early on in improvement when Autodesk hung the “closed without end” signal on Stingray, an excellent possibility would have been to begin over on a special engine, but it surely’s not that easy—Stingray is not simply the Helldivers 2 engine, it is the engine Arrowhead has utilized in most of its video games over its 16-year historical past, together with The Showdown Impact, the 2014 Gauntlet reboot, and the unique Helldivers.

Stingray is what the studio is aware of, and when you could have an skilled group of consultants in a particular set of instruments, you do not give that up calmly. Simply ask the man co-op shooter aficionados at Fatshark who additionally caught with Stingray for Darktide regardless of beginning improvement after Autodesk killed it.

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Loyalty might be an element, too. Arrowhead and Fatshark seemingly have an in depth relationship with the unique Bitsquid founders Niklas Frykholm and Tobias Persson, two Swedish trade vets who based Bitsquid after the closure of Grin (Bionic Commando: Rearmed) in 2009. The 2 Swedish outfits had been the earliest and a number of the solely studios to ever use Bitsquid/Stingray in industrial tasks.

Six years after its obsolescence, Arrowhead and Fatshark are nonetheless holding a torch for the defunct engine, and supporting its founders. After Frykholm and Persson left Autodesk, the 2 studios had been early buyers of their subsequent engine venture, Our Equipment. Oddly, a 12 months into the general public launch of their Equipment engine in 2022, Frykholm and Persson all of the sudden ceased improvement of the engine and insisted that each one customers wipe it off their exhausting drives.

That makes the pair 0-2 on creating game engines and sticking with them for the lengthy haul. Fortunately, it appears like Arrowhead had been capable of make it work with Stingray over time with their very own modifications and modernizations, which begs a Ship of Theseus-like query: at what level does the Helldivers 2 engine cease being Stingray and begin being its personal factor?