Following the success of Rare’s emergent multiplayer sandbox Sea of Thieves, the studio has decided to craft something that looks somewhat similar albeit in a totally different setting. Everwild was revealed in late 2019 and looks to be a fantasy sandbox filled with cute creatures and plenty of opportunities for meaningful player experiences like its seafaring predecessor. Ahead of its anticipated release in the future, we thought we’d pin down all the info we can find about the game. Here’s everything we know about Everwild.
What is Everwild?
Everwild is the next game from British studio Rare which is currently owned by Microsoft. Founded by the Stamper brothers in 1985, the studio has been crafting innovative games for more than three decades, with some highlights including GoldenEye, Donkey Kong Country, Banjo Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Following the Microsoft acquisition in 2002, Rare has been developing mostly exclusive titles for Xbox consoles, with modern examples like the Kinect Sports series, Viva Piñata and most recently Sea of Thieves.
Constantly pivoting into new genres and toying with ambitious ideas, Rare is a studio that is hard to pin down, but its latest new IP Everwild would be easy to compare to Sea of Thieves, at least from looks alone. Taking the trailer and marketing copy into account we could assume it is a similar style of game - an emergent MMO - framed in a fantasy universe, but the jury is still out until we hear more about it, hopefully at this year’s E3, whatever form that may take. Development on the game is being led by studio veteran Louise O’Connor, who previously worked on Fable Legends and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
Everwild release date and platforms
Announced during the XO19 event in November of 2019, Everwild was a shock reveal from Microsoft, unexpected by fans given Rare’s staunch commitment to Sea of Thieves. The game has yet to receive a release date or any follow-up information about a potential launch window. It’s still to be confirmed as of March 2020. Though, we do know that the game is coming to Xbox Game Pass, and given that it’s in development now it's safe to assume it will land on PC and Xbox Series X at the very least when it’s ready.
Everwild X019 trailer - What can we learn?
You can check out the Everwild trailer above. This constitutes the only footage of the game we’ve seen so far. The trailer introduces us to a bustling fantasy world with a rich colour palette. It’s also full of intriguing creatures, from bunnies to deer and majestic birds. There seems to be some sort of supernatural spin on the creatures, who boast leafy appendages and huddle in packs across a series of peculiar biomes.
The humans who inhabit this land (who we assume will function as the protagonist in Everwild) appear always in awe of these creatures, as if they are completely subservient to them. The human characters lurk and spy on the various creatures, with some looking far more hostile than others, like the warthog and sabretooth tiger featured in the trailer.
It’s difficult to infer what the gameplay of Everwild will be from this trailer. There’s no conflict to be seen, though it suggests that there will be some sort of multiplayer element given that the humans move in groups whilst studying these animals. At the end of the trailer, one human character connects with an animal, resulting in some kind of magical awakening. Perhaps it’s a game following an early civilisation as they figure out the meaning behind the animals who inhabit the land they find themselves in.
It’s all still very much up in the air, so hopefully, we’ll hear more soon. Studio Head Craig Duncan kept his cards to his chest in an interview with Eurogamer around the time of Everwild’s reveal, where he called it a “very unique type of game,” and explained the philosophy at Rare that led to the game’s creation. Duncan notes that it’s about “putting a set of passionate people together making something they truly love and believe in.” ”That’s why Everwild will be the game it will be,” he continues.
He was similarly cryptic in a blog post on the Rare website, where Duncan states that the game is “still in early development” but that the team is “focused on building an experience that allows for new ways to play in a natural and magical world.” According to Duncan, Everwild will be “more than just a new IP,” and he later waxes about the fact that the meaningful experiences it offers will be “for players everywhere to share.” Given how early the game is, it’s fair to say that Rare is being tight-lipped about the makeup of its world, potentially waiting for an opportunity to showcase its gameplay properly when it is further along the conveyor belt.