505 Games believes that its underwater exploration game Abzu will be recognised as one of the best games of the year following its release later in 2016, likening it to the critically-acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
"Similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, critically we expect Abzu to be one of the Games of the Year for a lot of people at the close of 2016," 505 exec Tim Woodley said in the latest issue of MCV. "Commercially though, Brothers saw a relatively slow build of awareness and appreciation for what that game offered as the accolades came in and word of mouth spread. It was a commercial success but not straight off the bat."
Sales will take off faster for Abzu, though, Woodley believes, because of the studio's link to Journey developer thatgamecompany. Giant Squid Studios, the developer of Abzu, was founded by Matt Nava, the art director on Flower and Journey.
"Due to its heritage and the Journey and thatgamecompany fanbase, Abzu will be much quicker out of the blocks in terms of sales," Woodley continued, "but expect a similar Brothers-style ramp up towards the end of the year as the critics do their write-ups of must-have titles."
Abzu promises to plunge players deep into "beautifully rendered ocean environments" where they'll be able to discover ancient secrets and encounter "majestic creatures". It's due for release on PS4 and PC.
A final release date has yet to be announced.