Revenant Hill, the next game from the makers of Night in the Woods, has been cancelled. The reason is that the game’s narrative designer and artist, Scott Benson, is battling a serious illness that has forced him away from the project.
Benson has revealed on his Personal X account that he has been suffering from acute heart failure for the past 12 months, which has greatly limited his ability to work. You can read his post below.
Therefore. I’ve been very sick for the past 12 months and it just won’t go away. Eventually I suffered from acute heart failure, most likely from a virus. This will continue to limit me greatly for the foreseeable future and I have had to stop working out the way I once did.
– Down Here For Your Soul (@bombsfall) November 7, 2023
Glory Society, the studio making Revenant Hill, post a Statement on Twitter (This is now the only image Company website) explains that Benson’s absence necessitated the team not only halting development of the game but also shutting down operations altogether. The indie studio was founded by Benson and his wife, Bethany Hockenberry, who stepped back from the project to support him. With such a small workforce, the loss of two key staff members was too much of a blow to continue work as planned, the statement explained. A statement from the Glory Society read in part,
Making something complicated poses challenges along the way. Games take some time to make and usually require a good team working together. We are lucky to have such a great team. Unfortunately, recent serious health issues have forced two key members to walk away from the project indefinitely. We are a small team and each of us wears many hats. It’s a lot of hard work to replace hats in an environment where all hats are needed. Given the realities of schedules, budgets and the sheer task of rebuilding the entire project within those parameters, the team amicably decided to suspend operations. For all intents and purposes, this is the end of development for Revenant Hill.
Benson is best known as the writer and artist/animator of 2017’s critically acclaimed Night in the Woods, which he created with co-writer Hockenberry and the late designer Alec Holowka. Following the game’s success, he and Hockenberry formed The Glory Society in 2019 with musician/artist Ren Farren. The studio’s first project, Revenant Hill, was revealed during the PlayStation Showcase in May. Set in 1919, it stars a cat named Twigs who, after his barn home burns down, is forced to live on a log near a cemetery. Unfortunately, an owl begins to insist on renting twigs, and the game focuses on the cat performing odd jobs. You can read a part of the game PlayStation Blog Summary below.
Grow crops to sell in the secret market or use for your own purposes. Put the roots down. Run through fields and trees. Watch the seasons go by. Make friends who become neighbors who become family. Make enemies too. It is sometimes unavoidable. Figure out what the ghosts want. Host more ambitious parties for witches and demons and other things that don’t have proper names. Caught in a world in the midst of violent change. Build community by accident. Square dance with a possum. Eat mice.
Revenant Hill was slated for PlayStation consoles and PC and had no release window. While it’s unfortunate that Twiggs’ adventure never saw the light of day, Benson’s health is infinitely more important, and we Game Informer They want a speedy road to recovery.