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Digital Extremes and Airship Syndicate unveiled Wayfinder, a new character-based, online action RPG during The Game Awards today.

Led by creative director and CEO Joe “Mad” Madureira, Airship Syndicate is developing the game and Digital Extremes will publish it on PC and console platforms in 2023.

In a gameplay trailer, the developers showed Gloom, an invading sinister threat that players, using the ancient power of their Gloom Dagger, can use to control their gameplay experience.

“Developing new IPs and fantasy worlds is one of our greatest joys, and our studio was built around that same purpose,” said Madureira, in a statement. “I hope the world of Wayfinder is a place millions of players enjoy returning to and immersing themselves in for years to come.”

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In the game, the world of Evenor is being consumed by the foul force of the Gloom. As Wayfinders, lights amidst the darkness in a world consumed by Gloom, players must control the chaos and reconnect a fractured world as they choose a unique path through an online world of endless action and adventure.

To cease the Gloom’s devastating decay of Evenor, players will choose from a variety of Wayfinders (characters) to control, each with their own unique story, play styles and abilities, harnessing their power together to defend Evenor from forces that seek to destroy it.

“This is the game we’ve always wanted to make, and we finally found the right partner in Digital Extremes to make it real,” said Wayfinder creative director and president of Airship Syndicate Ryan Stefanelli, in a statement. “We can’t wait to get it in player’s hands, using their feedback and conversations to make it special. Especially in the upcoming tests!”

Uniting with fellow Wayfinders, players will use their Gloom Dagger to adventure into Lost Zones – dungeon-like areas touched and consumed by the Gloom — resulting in shifting change and chaos.

Wayfinders can control the chaos with their Gloom Dagger, an ancient artifact of obscure origin, strategically implementing mutators that can dictate enemies encountered, items and resources dropped, and more. Wayfinders attempting to control this chaos will find the Gloom pushing back — implementing its own augmentations and modifiers to enemy damage, environmental hazards, and more where no two play sessions are the same.

Madureira previously worked on Ruined King: A League of Legends Story.

“Four years ago when we set out on this journey with Airship Syndicate to build Wayfinder we had high hopes and expectations,” said Richard Browne, head of external projects at Digital Extremes, in a statement. “The World they have created, the characters that inhabit it, and the ever-changing adventures players can encounter truly live up to the dreams we held. I can’t wait for players to band together and help push back the Gloom from Evenor.”

A closed playtest program for Wayfinder will start on December 13, and accepted PC players can experience hands-on access to Wayfinder in its development stage as Airship Syndicate solicits feedback and continues to refine and improve the game through to launch. You can apply now.

PlayStation Playtests will be operated in January, opening up hands-on access to Wayfinder exclusively for players on PlayStation consoles, in addition to continued support for players on PC. Additional information will be available soon.

Wayfinder will operate an early access program in Spring 2023 on PC and PlayStation consoles, and will be free-to-play on multiple platforms in Fall 2023, embracing Digital Extremes’ free-and-fair monetization philosophy.

Browne said in an interview with GamesBeat that he had signed Vigil Games for THQ in 2006 for the Darksiders game, and he knew Madureira from that time. Madureira approached Browne again about four years ago for Wayfinder.

“Joe’s art is very easy to fall in love with,” Browne said. “But then it came with the idea of this RPG where you can change the world and change the outcome of where you’re going by using the Gloom. That’s a really unique look at something really different.”

Browne said Digital Extremes helped figure out how to do the games as a service, as it does with other games like Warframe. The game is going into early access in 2023.

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