ININ Games and Strictly Limited Games have announced that their latest release, Clockwork Aquario, has become a Guinness World Record holder. The long-lost arcade-era title has snagged the record for the longest time between a video game project being started to its release.
The 2D platformer Clockwork Aquario was first started back in 1991 by Wonder Boy creator Westone Bit Entertainment with a planned launch for 1992. However, when that year rolled around, Westone decided to bin the project due to the emergence of 3D games and a market that was becoming more focused on genres such as shooters and RPGs. About 30 years later, boutique video game publisher Strictly Limited Games teamed up with ININ games, another publisher known for remastered version of retro games, went on a three-year search to find the code for Clockwork Aquario, strike a deal with license holder SEGA M2, and get the help of some of the game's original team put on the finishing touches. This team includes programmer Takanori Kurihara, composer Shinichi Sakamoto, and Wonder Boy creator Ryuichi Nishizawa.
This 30-year development, as unorthodox as it was, has earned it a world record. The previous holder for the longest development time, Duke Nukem Forever, spent 14 years and 44 days in development hell until it finally saw the light of day. Ryuchi Nishizawa expressed his "heartfelt respect and gratitude" to all of those who worked so hard to get Clockwork Aquario across that finish line. "I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this work is a great piece of 2D art, where the pixel artists of that time put their hearts and souls into. I’d be happy if people would appreciate and enjoy it."
Clockwork Aquario is available now in Europe, and will release in North America on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on December 14.