After dev of cult classic NES platformer reveals nobody talked to him about the follow-up, sequel studio apologizes: "we should've done better"

Gimmick 2
(Image credit: Bitwave Games)

The absurdly rare cult classic NES platformer Gimmick is getting a sequel over three decades later, but the announcement has been met with a fair amount of skepticism from fans of the original - particularly because the news came as a surprise to the original lead dev, too.

"I've been receiving messages about the sequel to Gimmick!," director Tomomi Sakai says on Twitter a few hours after the sequel's announcement. "While I'm honored that the original game continues to inspire, I want to clarify I wasn't involved in developing Gimmick! 2. The news of this project was a surprise to me as well. Thank you for your support."

As an NES game, Gimmick comes from an era when games were made by a small handful of people, and while Sakai isn't the only name in the credits, he is billed as game designer, programmer, co-character designer, and director, and rundowns of the game's development suggest that he came up with the game's original concept, too. Suffice to say that fans of the original weren't too happy with the idea Sakai wasn't even consulted on the sequel. 

"To clear the air: we owe an apology to Tomomi Sakai," Gimmick 2 developer Bitwave Games says on Twitter. "While we licensed the IP for Gimmick!, we failed to connect with its original creator. We deeply respect Tomomi Sakai's work—Gimmick! 2 would not exist without him. In hindsight, we should've done better. Much love."

It's unclear at this point whether Bitwave is now getting in direct contact with Sakai or what any kind of collaboration would even look like. In another tweet, Sakai notes that he was contacted during the production process of Gimmick Exact Mix, a remake of the original built for the exA-Arcadia platform. He didn't end up getting involved in that game's development, but he says "I told them to feel free to create it as they wished." Sakai hasn't mentioned any involvement with Gimmick Special Edition, a remaster for all major modern platforms released in 2023.

A sequel to Gimmick has loads of potential, but Bitwave is now facing an uphill climb to convince fans that the project is going to be a worthy follow-up. Gimmick 2 was announced with a brief teaser trailer that included no gameplay footage, and Bitwave doesn't have much of a track record, as the studio only has one - seemingly well-regarded - previous platformer to its name, with the rest of its catalog largely made up of modern re-releases of classic retro games. Only time will tell if Gimmick 2 lives up to the original's cult status.

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Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.