Agony continues to agonize, only this time in the form of another title… sort of.
Unholy, the first game from new developer Duality Games, is a first-person horror adventure that looks eerily similar to Agony by Madmind Studio. In fact, the two are so remarkably alike that the developer even made a comment on it, as reported by bluesnews.com:
“It's (sic) completely different developer from Madmind Studio and its 'Agony'. I mean - we won't make same errors like with Agony. We know how to avoid them."
Despite the new development team, both Agony and Unholy have the same publisher - PlayWay. However, according to this Steam community posting from July, Madmind was also once listed as publisher. That listing has since been removed, and the Steam page now has Duality Games as both publisher and developer.
Interestingly, Steam forum user and Madmind Studio representative Madm4n commented on the post. Here, he confirmed that Madmind was listed as one of the publishers of Unholy at that time:
As I mentioned in the previous statement, Madmind is not involved in the production of Unholy. We do not have any rights to this brand nor to the duality studio managed by Tomasz Strzałkowski.
I know only about the game how much Tomek told me - and based on this information, I think it is worth waiting for this game :)
Madmind is listed as a publisher (on steam), mainly because thanks to that Unholy has a greater visibility - which works, of course, both ways. That is why it is a nice and positive arrangement for us.”
That post was made in July, but back in June, Madmind had to cancel their release of Agony UNRATED due to unrevealed financial and legal issues. It’s possible there is some connection to those issues and the removal of Madmind’s listing as publisher.
Also, the Duality Games link on Unholy’s Steam page leads to Duality Studios, an animation house, rather than a development team. Duality Games is the right team, and are owned by PlayWay. However, this link is incredibly misleading to anyone interested. The mishap raises questions as to how Valve validates team involvement on Steam’s platform.
When asked about the situation, PlayWay responded. The e-mail stated that before Agony's premiere, Duality wanted Madmind as a publisher alongside PlayWay. However, after Agony's mediocre scores, they decided to remove them. PlayWay is now the only publisher and they own a portion of Duality. The statement also made clear that both the teams and games are entirely different.
We’ve reached out to Valve, and the Creative Art Director of Unholy for further clarity, and will be updating this story upon response.
Otherwise, based on the trailer, Unholy looks to be a darker story than Agony, but with social elements as well. The Steam page reads out some features:
- Engaging First Person Horror / Stealth gameplay.
- Explore a rich story behind Last City and Siadah’s desperate quest to save herself and her child.
- Immerse yourself in a uniquely dark environment never seen before.
- Multiple ways to approach challenges through stealth, or through exploiting the city’s social order.
- Take good care about your physical and mental health. Fight the encroaching madness or deal with the consequences of going insane.
Unholy was meant to release in 2020 according to PlayWay's website. However, the Steam page lists an updated window of 2019.
After not hearing anything for months, Agony is also preparing to tease something this Saturday. Stay tuned to TechRaptor for updates on both titles.
What do you think of the similarities between Agony and Unholy? Are you looking forward to this new title? Let us know in the comments below!