Dead Cells cover art

Dead Cells Designer Furious Over Studio Ending Support

Developers Motion Twin and Evil Empire recently announced they were wrapping up support for Dead Cells. However, former developer and Motion Twin co-founder Sébastien Benard is furious with the decision. His scathing remarks included calling the decision the “worst imaginable asshole move.”

Motion Twin co-founder makes scathing remarks over ending support for Dead Cells

As PC GamesN reported, a user on Dead Cells’ official Discord server asked Benard how he felt about the decision. The Motion Twin co-founder, who left the company in 2019, did not mince words when expressing his disapproval. “Since you’re asking me,” said Benard, “I’d just say [Motion Twin] did the worst imaginable asshole move against Dead Cells and [Evil Empire].”

Dead Cells platforming gameplay

Evil Empire’s statement said that the studio would move on to work on a new game. However, Benard doesn’t seem to believe them. He called last week’s announcement “total marketing bullshit” and said he was glad he wasn’t with Motion Twin anymore. Benard went on to say, “I never imagined my former coop [sic] studio would turn out to be such greedy people. I wish the absolute best to Evil Empire for their next things and hope people working there will survive this sudden economic cut.”

Motion Twin released the Metroidvania roguelike Dead Cells in 2017, with the full release in 2018. Evil Empire was established as a second studio to develop the game’s DLC. Benard seems to be insinuating that ending support for Dead Cells will lead to Evil Empire’s dissolution, or at least massive downsizing. Motion Twin is notable for operating as a worker cooperative, with salary and decision-making split equally between its eight employees. However, that is not the case for Evil Empire, which uses a conventional top-down business structure.

His comments may seem excessively scathing for what is otherwise a typical announcement. However, Benard worked at Motion Twin for 19 years, leaving to form the independent studio Deepnight Games shortly after Dead Cells’ success. This was not an amicable separation either. In 2020, Benard talked about how his relationship with the rest of the team “became more and more complicated” until the studio asked him to leave.