A prequel to Life is Strange, the episodic adventure game about a teenage girl who discovers she can rewind time, appears to be on the way, according to leaked screenshots posted online.
Life is Strange, which was released over a nine-month period in 2015, was developed by the Parisian studio Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. However, the purported prequel is apparently being made by a different company: the Denver-area developer Deck Nine Games, which was known until yesterday as Idol Minds.
The French site Gamekult perused the source code of Deck Nine’s website, and came across a screenshot of a girl standing in front of an oncoming train. Deck Nine has since removed the image — in fact, its entire site is currently offline. But further evidence soon surfaced in the form of an anonymously uploaded Imgur gallery of eight screenshots, as well as one piece of Life is Strange-branded concept art, with descriptions mentioning two key characters: Chloe Price, the childhood friend of Life is Strange protagonist Max Caulfield, and Chloe’s best friend, Rachel Amber.
Life is Strange takes place during Max’s senior year at Blackwell Academy, a private school in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon. Max has just moved back to town after a few years away, and after she reunites with her estranged friend Chloe, Chloe enlists Max’s help in finding her missing best friend, Rachel. The prequel could focus on the friendship between Chloe and Rachel before Max returns to town.
Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix announced last month that they are working on a follow-up to Life is Strange, so this prequel would be an entirely separate project.
Deck Nine Games was founded in 1997 as Idol Minds, a veteran PlayStation developer that made multiple entries in the Cool Boarders series and the 2007 ragdoll physics game Pain. In announcing its rebranding as Deck Nine yesterday, the studio said it had changed its name to signal a shift to a new focus on narrative-driven games. Deck Nine said the following about its next project:
Deck Nine have signed a partnership deal with a leading AAA videogame publisher and are deep in development on their first title, a brand new addition to a critically acclaimed franchise. More info will be revealed about this narrative adventure game at E3 in June.
A new Life is Strange game could certainly fit that description. We’ve reached out to Deck Nine and Square Enix for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.