Rime developer Tequila Works has reacquired the rights to the property from Sony Computer Entertainment and is looking to continue development on the game independently.
“Tequila Works announces today that it has chosen to reacquire the rights to its open world adventure game, Rime, and is working hard to realise its aspirations for it,”, Tequila Works said in a statement.
Someone from Sony has confirmed this fact via Polygon saying “SCE is no longer proprietary of the IP, nor publisher of the game.”
At this point in time, it is particularly uncertain as to whether or not this changes Rime‘s exclusivity to PlayStation 4, or if the rights transfer as nullified that deal. We’ll be sure to keep you updated if more happens on this front.
In leaked documents that are now two years old, revealed that Rime was originally an Xbox Live Arcade title, under the name Echoes of Siren. Tequila Works asked Microsoft for $3 million dollars to help make the game a reality, but Microsoft passed up on the offer.
The game was then picked up by Sony, with intentions to publish it as a first-party PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Rime was revealed way back at Gamescom 2013, when its cel-shaded visuals and an appealing world, drawing comparison to Ico, a PlayStation 2 classic. Since then, Tequila Works has been relatively quiet, if not completely silent, giving no updates or gameplay footage at any trade show since, outside of sizzle reels.
There have been longstanding rumors of tension between Tequila and Sony, citing “test groups say it is boring”, among other complaints. These rumors have not been confirmed, so take this with a grain of salt.
In 2014, Phil Spencer, the newly appointed Xbox boss, stated that the reason Microsoft passed on the project and said “part of the job is living with mistakes.”