Earlier today, artist Thomas Feichtmeir dropped an interesting piece of news on his Twitter feed: back in 2016 he was part of a pitch that wanted to reimagine Dark Souls 3 (or at least its world) as a 2D Metroidvania game.
With an NDA he signed over the project now expired, he was for the first time in six years allowed to talk about—and share a single image—of what the project could have looked like.
This looks cool! Before you go screaming at Bandai Namco for not approving it, though, know that this kind of stuff—namely, people and studios pitching projects involving a publisher’s IP—happens all the time. We just rarely get to hear about it, or see the results.
I spoke to Feichtmeir—a pixel artist who has worked on a bunch of games, from Blasphemous to Songs of Conquest—earlier today, who as part of the NDA he signed is able to now show his work and talk a little about it, but not talk a lot about it.
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“The art was created around 2016 as everyone wanted to have a cool 2D, Souls-like Metroidvania, as the genre was new and the hunger for a game like this strong”, he says. “Of course someone had to try a pitch to Bandai Namco.”
With his experience as a pixel artist, Souls community member and YouTuber, Feichtmeir can see why he was chosen to help out on the pitch. Sadly it never went anywhere—like I said, pitches come in and get rejected all the time—but you could argue that part of its spirit would eventually find its way to another game.
“A lot of people [on Twitter] pointed out that this looks a lot like Blasphemous, with which they are right and it also makes a lot of sense, as a few years later I actually would work on Blasphemous as an artist”, he says. I wrote about Blasphemous back in 2017, just a year after this pitch, and said it was basically a “2D Dark Souls”, so there you go.
“I hope you enjoy looking at the art as much as I had fun creating it back then”, Feichtmeir tells me. “It’s cool to finally be able to share it after all this time.”