As it goes gold, Stellar Blade dev says "many people felt we were out of our mind" for trying to make a full-fat action RPG in Korea's mobile-dominated market

Stellar Blade dev team photo
(Image credit: Shift Up)

Stellar Blade developer Shift Up, previously known for the likes of Goddess of Victory: Nikke, has repeatedly discussed the challenges of shifting to a more ambitious, current-gen action RPG, especially in a mobile-dominated market like South Korea's. In a new making-of documentary from PlayStation, some of the studio's heads explain in more detail that "many people felt we were out of our mind" for pursuing this project and platform. 

Via translated narration in the video, several Shift Up developers and project leads weigh in on the project's production hurdles. "When I initially decided to create this game, many people felt we were out of our mind, because in South Korea, mobile gaming dominates the market and the console market was nearly non-existent," says director and CEO Kim Hyung Tae. 

"These days, getting to work on a AAA game in Korea is quite a rare feat, to be honest," says concept art lead Chang Min Lee

"This is my first AAA console game project," says level designer Jiyeon Lee. 

"We were worried if we could do this well. But as we progressed, we became more and more ambitious," echoes system design lead Hyung Min Lee. 

"I felt a sense of mission to do it now, because it was now or never," the director concludes. 

Stellar Blade has come a long way since its days as Project Eve, an ambiguously multiplatform action game announced years ago. The game just recently went gold, meaning it's functionally finished and ready to ship. It's now a PS5 exclusive known as much for its breakneck action, which seemed quite promising in our early hands-on time with the demo, as it is for the down-bad fan base that its sexually exaggerated outfits and design have helped cultivate. The game's finally out April 26, so we'll all get to see if it's got substance to match its style. 

What really shaped Stellar Blade was a real-life taxi driver strike that left an impression on the RPG's director

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.