Our most-anticipated JRPG was only possible thanks to its developer's smash-hit Metroidvania

Sea of Stars
(Image credit: Sabotage Studios)

One of the most anticipated JRPGs of the year was only possible thanks to the success of a smash-hit Metroidvania.

Sea of Stars is finally out later this summer, after a pretty lengthy wait. However, in a new interview with PC Gamer - issue 387 out soon - creative director and writer Thierry Boulanger reveals that it was only thanks to the success of The Messenger that Sabotage Studio got to make the new JRPG.

"The Messenger dev team was seven people. This time it's around 26," Boulanger says in the new interview. "The plan with The Messenger was that if it works, we get to make 'The RPG'. It was a good bootstrap project for the company. Smaller scope, less risk, and an easy sell. It feels like it all happened in the proper order of things."

Yes, Sabotage Studios' previous gambit before its take on the retro-inspired JRPG genre was a Metroidvania. Not just any Metroidvania at that, because The Messenger was a really bloody good time back when it launched in 2018, and would go on to be hailed as one of the high points of the entire genre at large. 

Boulanger and company have done their take on a Metroidvania, and now they're putting their stamp on the JRPG genre. Sea of Stars is deliberately inspired by older turn-based games like Chono Trigger, which becomes immediately apparent once you see the new game's pixelated art style and how the turn-based combat plays out.

Sea of Stars is out in just two weeks from now on August 29, and it'll be launching across PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. We've got great news if you're a PS Plus or Xbox Game Pass subscriber: Sea of Stars will be available across both subscription services on day one.

Check out our upcoming indie games guide for a look ahead at all the other small-time bangers you should keep an eye on over the coming months. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.