The Unpacking team on why there won’t be a sequel, life-changing success, and new game Tempopo

July 3, 2024
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Three years ago, everything was about to change for tiny Australian studio Witch Beam. It was gearing up to launch its second game – a game about unpacking boxes and finding a space for your things. Unpacking, it was called. And the hope was it would build on the success of the studio’s first game, Assault Android Cactus, an energetic twin-stick shooter which did relatively well. But there was trepidation, because how many people would want a chilled-out game about placing objects? How many people would understand what it was trying to do?

Witch Beam needn’t have worried. In just a year, Unpacking raced to a million sales – far, far beyond anything Assault Android Cactus had done. It rocketed the studio to fame. Eurogamer awarded Unpacking Game of the Year in 2021, and Unpacking won awards including two gaming BAFTAs. For Witch Beam, it was an unmitigated success. “It’s been life changing,” co-founder Sanatana Mishra tells me now. “We spent a decade pursuing our creative passion while measuring every tiny decision against the possibility of becoming destitute at the end of that road you go down, and that was a difficult time. We traded on our youth and our health in a way that’s only really possible once or twice in your life. You can’t just keep doing that. And then now, overnight, after 10 years of doing that, we suddenly didn’t have to really think about that part of it any more. So that was life-changing for everyone on the team and everybody we work with. It’s been fantastic.”

And now the team is back with a new game called Tempopo.

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