Studio MDHR announced in a tweet that it has delayed the release of its Cuphead downloadable content, dubbed The Delicious Last Course.

The Canadian game studio said it made the difficult decision amid the pandemic to delay the DLC to an unspecified date. In a letter, cofounders Chad and Jared Moldenhauer said, “In true Studio MDHR fashion, we aren’t content for this final chapter to be anything less than our best work. Throughout development, we’ve challenged ourselves to put everything we learned from making Cuphead into the quality of The Last Delicious Course’s animation, design, and music.”

But the brothers said that meeting this standard has been extremely challenging in the pandemic.

“Rather than compromise on our vision in response to COVID, we’ve made the difficult decision to push back the release of The Delicious Last Course until we are confident it will delight the Cuphead community the way we feel it should.”

Previously, the studio had simply said that the DLC would be coming out in 2020. In the DLC, the Cuphead brothers will be joined by Ms. Chalice.

Here’s the tweet:

Humble origins

Cuphead was a nostalgic run-and-gun platformer that made a big splash when it debuted in 2017. I was part of that because I found it very difficult to play, and the entire internet laughed at me for that. While everybody had a great laugh at my struggles with the tutorial and first level, the studio leaders were quite kind to me with their words of support. And a pretty large percentage of people never finished the game. (This figure was at 8% completed a few months after the game came out). But the difficulty is part of its appeal. By the second anniversary of the launch, Cuphead had sold more than 5 million copies and it reached 6 million by the time of its PlayStation 4 launch in July.

Cuphead is a game that harkens back to the old-style console games that were hard to play. Its art style was like a 1930s cartoon, with blaring music and a story about Cuphead and his brother, Mugman. Their journey was a series of surreal boss fights, all done in the name of paying off a debt to the Devil. The game sold millions and part of its appeal was the rags-to-riches story of the Moldenhauer brothers and Maya Moldenhauer, who oversaw the business side of the studio. With such great success on the first game, the studio has earned the right to make its own decisions on the right time to launch. And it has more than enough money to finance the delay.

It was the last thing you might expect, considering the game’s humble origins. Brothers Chad and Jared grew up playing old-school video games, and they loved platformers. They also took after their father, enjoying old cartoons like Disney’s Silly Symphonies, Chad said. They always dreamed of making a video game. When they finished playing a game, they would talk about. “Wouldn’t it be great if this happened instead?”

But Chad was a construction worker for his dad’s company, and then he moved on in 2003 to become a web designer. He decided with Jared, who worked in construction, to try to make a game part time. Chad’s wife Maja, who had a background in biomedical physics and finance, was fully supportive. During her maternity leave, she joined in. Chad taught himself animation. Microsoft saw their work and decided to publish it under its ID@Xbox indie game label, offering marketing support. By the time it was done, more than 25 people had worked on it. The game took off organically, and I certainly learned that there are a ton of people who appreciate a challenging game.

Netflix said it in 2019 that it was creating an animated video series based on Cuphead.

Perhaps this delay will give me more time to beat the original Cuphead. But don’t count on it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that there are some games I don’t have the skill to play. GamesBeat’s Mike Minotti, however, beat it soundly for his review.

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