Arkane Studios has confirmed that its superb first-person assassination series Dishonored is "resting right now", with no further instalments seemingly currently planned.
News of Dishonored's dormancy comes via Arkane Studios lead designer Ricardo Bare (speaking to VG247 during QuakeCon), who qualified that, "I can't say definitively what might happen down the road, anything could happen".
The original Dishonored launched back in 2012 to much critical acclaim, with reviews celebrating its superb world design and the sometimes dizzying freedom with which the game's supernaturally enhanced assassination missions could be approached.
Dishonored's 2016 sequel was equally well-received, although neither it nor its follow-up - Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, which wrapped up the trilogy's story arc last year - saw the kind of sales enjoyed by the first game. Dishonored 2, for instance, sold 38 per cent fewer copies in its launch week compared to its predecessor. As such, it's not entirely surprising - although still a little disappointing - to hear that the series is on ice.
But with Dishonored now on an indefinite hiatus, thoughts inevitably turn to the kind of projects that the team at Arkane Studios might tackle next. According to Bare, these won't necessarily be immersive sims precisely in the same vein as Dishonored or Arkane's wonderful sci-fi shooter Prey, but each has definite elements that the studio will continue to explore.
"The things that are important to us as a studio are coherent, deep world building and environmental storytelling," Bare explained, "we're always going to craft spaces that you feel like you're visiting, whether it's Dunwall or Talos 1. It's just as important a character as the player or the people you meet.
"Then it's improvisational gameplay - giving players a bunch of cool abilities and tools, then saying, 'You figure it out, you be creative, you own the experience'. And, typically, we stick to first-person, though that's not a hard rule and we might try other things from time to time."