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Low-Budget Games Steal Spotlight After Covid Delays Big Names

  • Titles like Replaced, Twelve Minutes, were fan favorites at E3
  • Next Zelda, Elden Ring won’t come to market until 2022


Source: Sad Cat Studios

The annual video game convention E3 is normally full of teasers for splashy, graphic-rich games from big-name studios and surprise announcements about new titles. But this year’s online-only event was much quieter, with many hot releases delayed as a result of the pandemic. That gave games from independent studios a chance to steal the show.

Some of the most impressive reveals this year were small-scale, indie games that may not have the wow factor of something like Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s Assassin’s Creed but appealed to fans with interesting story lines, quirky graphics or unusual gameplay. Highlights included Replaced, a gorgeous cyberpunk-themed action game and debut title from Sad Cat Studios, and Twelve Minutes, in which players must break a time loop full of betrayal and murder. The game, from a division of film company Annapurna Pictures, stars Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe. Entries like these delighted fans and showcased the breadth of possibilities of video games.