It’s been a wild ride ever since we released SUPERHOT on February 25th 2016. 5 years ago. Half a decade.1825 ish days. That’s a hell lot of time. Can you believe it? We hardly can.
Here are 5 years worth of memories stitched together in a few second video. Enjoy.
It’s still amazing to us that our tiny little game jam prototype grew into a fully fledged, actual real video game. It spawned a franchise that people all over the world fell in love with. It changed our lives. We gathered many super warm memories through the years too.
5 years is a great time as any to take a look back at what happened. And boy a lot happened. Let’s take a stroll down the memory lane shall we? :)
Once upon a time, many years ago, SUPERHOT was born during a 7 Day FPS Game Jam. A bunch of people got together to make a shooter game in a week. This was way back in 2013 (!). These worldwide game making events are amazing and still going strong all these years later.
The prototype went down well. People seemed to like it. It made waves in the gaming community. It exploded on youtube. It was trending hard on reddit. We broke Steam greenlight records (here’s the trailer). We spent 8 months developing that prototype into a foundation for a real game and then we ran a Kickstarter campaign. We asked for $100k and got $250k from our fantastic fans. This was the beginning of something really special for us.
You can still play the prototype that started it all right here. Around 50k people a month are still playing the prototype on our website which is absurdly cool.
As the Kickstarter wrapped up development work was in full swing. The foundations of a fantastic game had been created. Our new fans were excited. We were working hard and hiring some help. It was all go go go at SUPERHOT HQ.
The first early Alpha version was playable for Kickstarter backers in March, 2015. Killterest (then Killstagram) went live around this time too. Killterest is still going strong today too and people are constantly uploading cool SUPERHOT moments: https://killterest.com/
In May 2015 you could slice bad guys in half for the first time and the team were experimenting with interactive level decoration.
Around July SUPERHOT was getting some love at E3, all very exciting:
Being on the big stage was also very exciting:
In October 2015 the team visited two game events, Poznan Game Arena and Paris Games Week. They spoke to actual real life players about the game. Getting hands on feedback was super useful and pretty inspiring if we are being honest.
With only a few months to release the team were working towards shipping the game. A deeply creative, busy, exciting and not at all stressful time.
Around this time we realised that hand to hand fighting was sort of an abandoned child in SUPERHOT. The punching animations were rather minimalistic. Although this was quite close to release we thought this was important enough to improve. That is why we decided to add some melee animations, have a look.
After a dash to finish line, on Feb 25th 2016 at 1:10 pm CET, SUPERHOT went live. The launch was for sure a fantastic moment. We didn’t realise it at the time but this was only the beginning of a franchise and the beginning of our SUPERHOT story.
We took our sweet time making SUPERHOT. What started out as a small passion project ended up becoming a 2.5 year adventure. SUPERHOT far outgrew our wildest expectations.
We also never abandoned SUPERHOT. We love the game and do our best to keep it alive and up-to-date to this day. Since that launch we’ve patched the game 41 times on Steam alone. We’ve ported it to pretty much every platform and made it available on every store too.
Not many people remember that it was only a few short months after releasing SUPERHOT that we finished SUPERHOT VR. It is essentially a whole new game in almost no time at all, not a port, not an update.
In hindsight this was abolstetly ridiculous to attempt in such a short time and almost impossible to imagine doing it again now.
Although we did manage to take a short break after finishing up SUPERHOT, we soon jumped back into full development. That was an extremely busy and extremely fun time. We had literally no idea what we were doing and VR was this weird unknown world with few rules or guidelines.
It was the wild wild west of game development and we abolsuestly loved it.
We experimented hard with VR and made some (in hindsight) bold design decisions that luckily worked out well. Development was a bit of a whirlwind (to say the least) but we managed to make something we were happy with.
Luckily some of our partners got what we were making. When getting ready to launch we had some excellent (very last minute) feedback:
On December 5th 2016 SUPERHOT VR launched. We kinda expected it to fail hard. People thankfully loved it. It can be hard to take a step back and assess your work when you're so involved with it.
SUPERHOT VR became our most loved and most successful game. We won some awards and that was really great. It sold really well too which is also great. Numbers below for the nerds.
We went on to port SUPERHOT VR to nearly all the VR headsets, including the Valve Index which has fancy finger tracking that let us create beautiful moments like this:
We also ported SUPERHOT VR to the Oculus Quest headset. This was a non trivial technical undertaking (read: lots of work) but it turned out so very well. The Quest is completely standalone, no wires, no tethers and it’s honestly really the best way to play SUPERHOT VR.
A full live action trailer for SUPERHOT VR on Quest was also shot and edited by our team in a few short weeks. It’s easily the best thing ever and we love it. Go watch.
MIND CONTROL DELETE (MCD) started out with the aim to give players “more” SUPERHOT. Fans were keen for more signature SUPERHOT gameplay and we wanted to deliver. We succeeded but getting there was not an easy journey.
Not going to lie, the development of MCD was pretty tough. The project took way longer than we planned.
We launched into Early Access on Steam and it took a few years before our game was ready for a full release. Thanks again to those who supported us during those early days. Especially if you dropped into one of our few dev streams.
During development we made some great and not great design calls, things changed, we had to throw things out and start again. We did this more than once. We made it though.
Making games is really hard.
SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE was released on July 16th 2020. Launching a game during a global pandemic is less fun than in normal times. Would not recommend it. It was a stressful yet amazingly fulfilling experience though.
We did something that a lot of people thought was a Bad Idea for the launch of MCD. We gave MCD away. For free. Everyone who had purchased SUPERHOT could get MCD for free. Almost 2 million people were eligible for a free, $25 fully featured game. Why?
We figured it was a lovely thing to do. We still do. It’s nice to be nice and it felt like a great thing to do for all those that supported us throughout the years. Plus, 2020 was rubbish and a free game is always great. It was possibly the biggest free giveaway in video games history.
As a small aside, MCD also has a soundtrack. None of our other games have one so this was a cool first for us. It’s a splendid mix of existential dread and retro electro EDM. Available on literally every music streaming service here. YouTube too.
We also just dropped a massive update to bring 4k 120 FPS support to Xbox Series X and 2k 120 FPS to Xbox Series S. That’s like almost a billion SUPERHOT pixels every second. It plays great and looks sharper and better than ever before.
As a company, SUPERHOT has always been fiercely independent and in complete creative control. We came up and stayed properly indie – with no publishers or investors to answer to, nobody is holding us back from doing weird and crazy things (like giving away MCD).
We were lucky to build SUPERHOT at a time when support from our amazing Kickstarter community, the support we got from within the gamedev industry, and our own foolhardy nature were enough to build a healthy studio with nobody but ourselves calling all the shots.
Another of those weird and crazy things in SUPERHOT PRESENTS.
We set out on a mission to find cool, fun, unusual games that might need some help (funding) and support (still funding but also unsolicited advice and mentoring). Our little way to give something back.
This mission has been a super success and a few courageous teams decided to join our gang. Without further ado, we proudly present Frog Detective, Knuckle Sandwich, The Procession to Calvary and Teenage Blob! Check them all out here. Stay tuned for more.
It's an honour and privilege (really) to see how SUPERHOT and the “time only moves when you do” game mechanic has inspired other creative souls. There have been SUPERHOT homages in video games, in art and in videos. They’re all amazing and we always get a huge kick out of seeing these.
For example, There Is No Game, What The Golf, Clustertruck, Cooking Sim, Book of Demons, or SUPER IS HOT, SuperHot.exe is a VIRUS! SuperHot SUpeErHo̵̝̓̈ͅt̷̡̢͒̕ S̴̏ͅư̵̜p̶̺̍E̸̟̊ṟ̸̓Ĥ̸͖o̸̊͜t̴̯̎ plus many many more. Go check em' out.
Our never ending thanks to the talented folk who put these together.
We sold more copies of SUPERHOT VR on Christmas day 2020 than ever before. SUPERHOT VR was the 3rd best selling PSVR game in January too. It’s honestly amazing. More people than ever are experiencing SUPERHOT titles and that’s just great.
A quick walk down a long memory lane!
To celebrate 5 years of SUPERHOT our games are on sale almost everywhere right now. Go tell your friends. Complete your collection.
Sincerest thanks to all our fans, our players, our partners and everyone involved in the SUPERHOT story. Drop by our Discord anytime and say hi, it’s full of lovely people.
SUPERHOT really changed our lives. It really did. A small indie game opened a world to us.
During those 5 years time moved when we moved. It moved very fast and we experienced a lot of beautiful moments along with some hiccups. We were blessed by a community full of beautiful people that carried us through the harder times.
Thanks for 5 years and here’s to 105 more!
You are the best.
Always and forever,