At Sloclap we felt it was high time to give an update on Sifu to the PlayStation community!
Since our reveal in February’s State of Play, the team has been hard at work on Sifu. We were hoping to release the game by the end of 2021, but we now realize that in order to release a polished game, this won’t be possible before 2022.
The Covid crisis and the subsequent lockdowns have been a huge challenge for everyone, and although we were lucky enough not to face the important revenue losses that many businesses have gone through, the situation did create some real challenges for us. Since March 2020 we have had to adapt to changing regulations, switching the whole team to remote working while we continued our development work, and we lost some velocity as a consequence – remote working has its advantages, but losing daily informal interactions between team members can also be hard to manage.
We still felt earlier this year that we could make our original planned launch date, but as the deadline grew closer, it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to do so without putting the quality of the game at risk or creating huge pressure on the Sloclap team – and neither of these options were acceptable to us.
We’re very sorry about this delay – as gamers ourselves, we know how frustrating this can be, and as an independent studio, working multiple years on a single project, delaying a game can also create financial risks, so it’s certainly not a decision that we took lightly. But at the end of the day, our top priority is to make the best possible game, a hugely entertaining and polished experience, and we’d rather ask our fans to wait a little longer than planned than release something we’re not totally proud of.
Mastery through practice, or the art of getting back up and trying again
In today’s State of Play trailer, we wanted to give you a short glimpse of our aging mechanic in an all-new environment. Starting in a night club, our main character will soon find themselves in an underground fight club and will have to prevail through combat in order to reach their target. The progressive and subtle evolution of your surroundings as you get deeper into the hideouts of your enemies is a strong theme throughout the game.
Kung Fu is the mastery that comes from a life of training and practice, and the aging mechanic and death are also central to this trailer. In Sifu, that concept inspires both the main character’s drive and philosophy, and we want to make it part of the gameplay experience itself. Players can make mistakes, try again, and learn in the process. We want to make that experience smooth and fluid: players will be able to restart instantly where they died and keep going forward like an unstoppable force of revenge. You cannot age eternally, however; eventually you will become too old and have to start your path again.
You don’t get weaker as you age. On the contrary, like the old masters of classic Kung Fu movies, as the main character becomes older, they have more experience, skills, and knowledge to apply to the fight. Like a true Kung Fu student, to reach your objective you will have to improve through practice and perseverance.
Sorry again for this delay – we are now very confident that we can release in the very first months of 2022, and we will announce a precise date as soon as possible! We hope you enjoyed what we’ve shown so far. Thank you for your patience!