EA's program for supporting small developers, EA Originals, has announced that the second game to be brought out under this banner will be Sea Of Solitude from German indie developer Jo-Mei Games. The stunning looking indie adventure title got its first look in a series of tantalizing gifs on the developer's twitter last year. Then a gameplay trailer and developer interview earlier this year was released through journalist Anthony Carboni's YouTube channel, which you can see below, and the already impressive title stands to benefit greatly from the considerable backing that the mega-publisher can offer. EA's executive vice president Patrick Söderlund had this to say about the game,
Like many of you, I saw the first glimpses of Sea of Solitude last year. I was stunned by the intensity of the imagery and the emotional view into the universe of Kay, the central character. We follow her journey as she finds out that her biggest enemies are not the ones she comes across as she explores the Sea of Solitude, but something even more dangerous. Its combination of beauty and rawness is unlike any game I’ve played before.In an article on EA's official site, Söderlund went on to say that, like the first EA Originals game Fe, Sea of Solitude captures the essence of the games they want players to discover through the program.
The game itself deals with some interesting themes. As developer Cornelia Geppert explains in the interview, Sea of Solitude's lead character Kay suffers from a loneliness so severe it has turned her into a monster. Her journey involves traveling through a world that has been deserted by all but other monsters to discover why this happened to her and how she can become human again. It seems that players won't be rampaging through the world fighting these other monsters but rather helping them, as they help Kay, to understand why they suffer. Weather will be a key feature in the game, evidenced by the fact that Kay's boat not only offers a method of travel but also carries its own sunny weather with it. The further out you go from this sunny weather, it seems, the more dangerous environments become.
It appears this is a very personal project for Jo-Mei Games' Co-founder Geppert, who is quoted in the EA article as saying:
Sea of Solitude is by far the most artistic and personal project I’ve ever created. At times it is very challenging to dig that deep into your own feelings like core fears, longing and anger, but at the same time it is the most fulfilling thing to express those very feelings by putting it to people through art.The game's interconnected world has an interesting art style that has been described by the developer as a mixture of "Studio Ghibli and Silent Hill" before further clarifying her meaning that the game will have scenes of both vibrant beauty and more disturbing moments - in both art style and themes. The game is far from finished, with the assets that have been shown so far described as a 'work in progress' by Geppert, and EA is helping to develop the game as well as simply providing funding and marketing support. It's fair to say that, although much remains to be seen on how Sea of Solitude will play, the game's concepts combined with EA's backing could well produce an indie game of immense quality.
EA Originals already announced Fe as the first game to be brought out under the label at E3 earlier this year. You can see the trailer for that game in our article here. With adding Sea of Solitude to its roster, the program for assisting small studios certainly seems promising from early indications. For more on the game, check Jo-Mei Games' official website here. It has not yet been announced when the game is due to be released, or for what platforms.
What do you think of Jo-Mei games' thoughtful adventure so far? Is the EA Originals program good for small developers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.