In 1993, a video game company known as Accolade (now part of Infogrames) released Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and later to Windows 95. The game was well-received, and—like most good games—sequels soon followed, culminating in Bubsy 3D for the Sony PlayStation.
The original game, Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, brought Sonic the Hedgehog-style gameplay to the Super Nintendo. The creator of Bubsy, Michael Berlyn, left the company soon after to form the video game developer Eidetic. Accolade produced Bubsy 2 without his help, producing a flawed game that damaged the reputation of the series permanently. Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales, the third game in the Bubsy series, was released in December 1994. It was released exclusively for the Atari Jaguar and was developed by third-party developer Imagitec Design. Needless to say, the game failed both critically and financially.
In a last-ditch attempt to rescue the series, Accolade brought on Eidetic, the studio formed by the developer of the original game. The resulting game, Bubsy is 3D in Furbitten Planet (also known simply as Bubsy 3D), was praised by critics for its innovation (it was one of the first 3D platformer games ever created) and gameplay. But it couldn't save Accolade, and when they were purchased by Infogrames, Bubsy seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.
That is, until now. We here at Anime Night Interactive Media Entertainment are proud to announce that we have purchased the rights to the Bubsy franchise. It's time to bring a beloved nineties franchise into the twenty-first century. Announcing: Bubsy Mobcat.
The world has changed since Bubsy 3D was released all the way back in 1996. It's been almost twenty years, and technology has changed almost as much as consumers' tastes. While a 3D platformer might've passed back in the days of Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot, it just doesn't cut it today. And with consoles as powerful as the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Wii U, the simple, stylized look of Bubsy 3D needs updating.
The story of Bubsy needs updating too. Alien invasions just aren't the kind of plot device that they used to be. Bubsy can't just be a cute â€˜n' cuddly bobcat anymore. Characters need depth and emotion, backstory, motivation. We've put our entire team to work on updating Bubsy's character, and we think we've produced something that Bubsy fans everywhere will enjoy.
In Bubsy Mobcat, the Woolies make a return—but not as an invading alien force. Bubsy Mobcat is set long after the events of the first four games, and the Woolies have taken control of Earth. Bubsy himself has gone into retirement, unhappy with the rule of the Woolies but too tired to fight back. But this all changes when Bubsy's best friend is taken away in the dead of night.
Bubsy starts an underground resistance movement against the rule of the Woolies. Armed with only his sharp wit and his trusty revolver, Bubsy will discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Several designs for the new game were pitched, ranging wildly from a straight remake to a real-time strategy game. With the recent successes of games such as Bioshock: Infinite and Murdered: Soul Suspect, we decided to try the 1920s feel, and it stuck. We had also considered a post apocalyptic story, but we felt that the market was oversaturated. You may find some remnants of our ideas left over, though!
Once we had our design aesthetic, we began working on the gameplay. Bubsy's always been known as a platformer, and we wanted to stick close to our roots, while staying hip and fresh. We felt that adding weapons designed around mobility would help bridge the gap. The Catscratch, for instance, is a crowbar that lets you wall climb, while the Catwing will let you glide easily through the game's open world. There are tons more of different weapons and cat puns, but we don't want to spoil all of the puzzles too early!
Interview with the Designer
For some more about Bubsy Mobcat, we asked lead designer Reyna Lentis some questions about Bubsy Mobcat's development.
AN: Let's address the elephant in the room: why is the game titled Bubsy Mobcat?
RL: The aliens from the first game who have come in, taken over the government—they've essentially brought 1920s culture and style back to Earth, and it's become the dominant culture—sort of how you see 1950s culture in games like Fallout, even though it is set hundreds of years in the future.
AN: What has caused the Woolies to adopt 1920s culture for themselves?
RL: The idea is that the Woolies—on their planet, Rayon—are just starting to receive transmissions from Earth—old radio broadcasts, stuff like that. And these are the first pieces of Earth culture that they received, so they listened to them over and over and over—and it just sort of spread from there.
AN: What sort of gameplay can we expect to see in Bubsy Mobcat?
RL: We wanted to create something that will be popular with today's audience. Because of that, we've decided to structure [Bubsy Mobcat] as a first-person shooter, in the style of Call of Duty, Battlefield, and games like that.
AN: Any other things we should know?
RL: I don't know, we both work here.
Anime Night prides itself on quality entertainment. After all, the full name of the company is Anime Night Interactive Media Entertainment. That is why we have decided to purchase the rights to, and bring back, a beloved franchise. That's right. Bubsy is back.