Xbox News: Hellblade 2 development increases as Ninja change focus

Hellblade 2 may not have a release date, but that could now change in the coming months.

We have seen a number of high-profile releases delayed, but a change in tact from developers Ninja Theory could see Senua's Saga on our consoles sooner rather than later.

Bleeding Edge benched

Bleeding Edge was released less than a year ago (March 2020), but Ninja Theory has made the decision to concentrate on further projects rather than add any more content updates to the Xbox exclusive title.

In a Tweet, the official Bleeding Edge account states that Ninja will be working on "new projects", specifically naming Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga and Project Mara - which has both been involved in The Insight Project - as to where their efforts will now lie.

The Tweet also states "the game is still playable on Xbox and PC" but this certainly puts a timeline on any current Bleeding Edge players, which is a surprising move just 10 months after its release.

Dodging the delay game

This announcement will upset the Bleeding Edge community - but with the succession of game delays we have seen since the Coronavirus pandemic hit - it's hard to argue with Ninja Theory's strategy.

In the last month alone we have seen delays to Hogwarts: Legacy, Lord of The Rings: Gollum and Returnal - with publishers keen to avoid what we're calling "a Cyberpunk".

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Even before the pandemic, development on the CD Projekt RPG was drawn out, having been in the works since 2013.

An initial April release date was pushed back to September, then November and then December 2020, which has proven too soon.

On day one of release, Night City received three "hotfixes" - another three arrived within the next month, before a first "significant" patch update arrived in January, with another arriving in February.

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Things got so bad with Cyberpunk that CD Projekt offered refunds to players, and the game was removed from the PlayStation Store - and is yet to return.

The Cyberpunk release has been nothing short of a car crash, and by 1) not announcing release dates and 2) focusing efforts on upcoming titles - you can see Ninja Theory is doing everything in its power to avoid anything similar.

What is The Insight Project?

Both Hellblade and Project Mara are involved in The Insight Project, but what is it?

To quote its official website:

"The Insight Project, an ambitious combination of technology, game design and clinical neuroscience brought together with the aim of generating strategies to alleviate mental distress."

The project was born during the development fo the first Hellblade title Senua's Sacrifice.

Working with a neuroscience specialist from University Cambridge, the team wanted to depict mental illness in the BAFTA-award winning title.

Ninja and Prof. Paul Fletcher are now collaborating on future titles through The Insight Project to assist those suffering from mental health, through the gaming space.

With so many layers of development going into these titles - it's clear to see why Ninja is doubling-down its efforts.

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