Revenant Hill, the next game by the makers of Night in the Woods, has been canceled. The reason is that the game’s narrative designer and artist Scott Benson is battling a severe illness that has forced him to step away from the project.
Benson reveals on his personal X account that he’s been suffering severe heart failure over the past 12 months, which has greatly limited his ability to work. You can read his post below.
So. Over the past 12 months or so I got very sick and it didn’t go away. Eventually I was diagnosed with severe heart failure, most likely from a virus. It will continue to greatly limit me for the foreseeable future and as such I’ve had to stop working in the manner I once did.
— Down Here For Your Soul (@bombsfall) November 7, 2023
The Glory Society, the studio making Revenant Hill, posted a statement on Twitter (which is now the sole image on the company’s website) explaining that Benson’s absence requires the team to not only cease development of the game but also to suspend operations entirely. The indie studio was founded by Benson and his wife, Bethany Hockenberry, who also stepped away from the project to support him. The statement explains that with such a small team of employees, losing two key staff members was too much of a blow for work to continue as planned. The Glory Society’s statement reads in part,
Making anything complex poses challenges along the way. Games take a while to make and usually require a good team working together. We’ve been lucky to have one such good team. Unfortunately, recent serious health issues have necessitated two key members stepping away from the project indefinitely. We are a small team and we each wear multiple hats. This is a loss of several hard to replace hats in an environment where all hats are needed. Given the realities of schedules, budgets, and the fraught task of reworking the whole project within those parameters, the team has amicably decided to suspend operations. For all intents and purposes, this is the end of the development of Revenant Hill.
Benson is known as one of the writers and artist/animator of 2017’s critically acclaimed Night in the Woods, which he created alongside co-writer Hockenberry and late designer Alec Holowka. Following the game’s success, he and Hockenberry formed The Glory Society in 2019 alongside musician/artist Wren Farren. Revenant Hill, the studio’s first project, was revealed in May during a PlayStation Showcase. Set in 1919, it starred a cat named Twigs who, after its barn home burns down, is forced to take residence in a log near a graveyard. Unfortunately, an owl begins demanding that Twigs pay rent and the game focuses on the cat performing odd jobs to make ends meet. You can read a section of the game’s PlayStation Blog synopsis below.
Grow crops to sell at the secret market or use for your own purposes. Put down roots. Run through the fields and the trees. Watch the seasons pass. Make friends who become neighbors who become family. Also make enemies. That’s unavoidable sometimes. Figure out what the ghosts want. Host increasingly ambitious parties for witches and demons and other things that don’t have proper names. Get tangled up in a world in the midst of violent change. Build a community by accident. Square dance with a possum. Eat mice.
Revenant Hill was slated for PlayStation consoles and PC and had no release window. While it’s unfortuatnte that Twigs’ adventure may never see the light of day, Benson’s health is infinitely more important and we at Game Informer wish him a speedy road to recovery.