Bleeding Edge, the new 4v4 brawler from Ninja Theory, will be available on Xbox Game Pass when it launches on March 24. The team-based multiplayer title will thus be available to more players at launch than it would have been if it wasn’t available on the surface, and according to creative director Rahni Tucker, that has changed some elements of development.
Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, Tucker said that the game’s direction has been influenced by its inclusion on this subscription service. “There’s a fair bit of focus at the moment on the new player experience,” she says. She believes that people who buy the game at retail are probably doing so “because it’s in a genre they know and understand so they’re going to have familiarity with things like objective control or class-based characters.”
However, Game Pass subscribers who are interested in trying out something new might not have that previous experience or built-in interest. “If you’ve come to the game through Game Pass and maybe you don’t know so much about this type of genre, it can be a little harder to get into the game,” Tucker says. “Maybe they don’t know all of the buttons, maybe they don’t know how the game modes work, so we’re trying to focus on that and make sure there’s a nice ramp for new players coming into the game.”
The game will let players take on AI opponents before testing their mettle online, and there’s a tutorial where players can “practice safely” too. “Hopefully they can go into that first game a little bit more prepared,” Tucker says.
Bleeding Edge is also coming to PC, and will be available on Steam.
Ninja Theory, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018, has a few other games in the works. Hellblade II, a sequel to the well-received original, is in development, with Senua returning. They’re also developing The Insight Project, an initiative meant to help fight mental illness, and Project: Mara, which is a horror experience based on the theme of “mental terror”.