Today 11 Bit Studios announced a partnership with developer Odd Meter to bring their debut game INDIKA to PC and consoles. The upcoming game is a unique, narrative-driven adventure set in a parallel 19th-century Russia that aligns perfectly with 11 Bit Studios’ vision of meaningful entertainment.
In INDIKA, players assume the role of the titular nun, Indika, embarking on a mind-bending journey to explore the duality of good and evil and the understanding that nothing is absolute. At its core, INDIKA is a third-person perspective adventure game, blending exploration with environmental puzzles and a touch of platforming.
However, steeped in themes of sin, sorrow, and moral dilemmas, INDIKA transcends traditional gaming, resembling an art-house film that challenges societal norms rather than offering simple amusement.
The working relationship between Odd Meter and publisher 11 Bit Studios was already firmly established by the time the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place. These horrific events put both the developer and the publisher in a difficult situation with a complicated path forward.
Even before our country started the war, we walked a fine line working with topics that could get someone criminal prosecution in Russia. After February 24, things were complicated even further as staying in Russia became both physically scary and, more importantly, morally difficult, so we decided to leave for another country.
Nowadays, it has become especially obvious how relevant the topics raised in our game are. Many problems of today’s Russia lie in the socio-political infantilism that has been hammered into its citizens over the centuries: humility, obedience, and patience are the main virtues imposed by our orthodox culture. So, it’s not surprising that institutions such as the Russian Orthodox Church have recently become one of the primary weapons of propaganda, calling on parishioners to die for their homeland, and preaching a monstrous indifference to one’s own and other people’s lives.
With the decision made, Odd Meter’s entire 16-person team uprooted their lives and moved to Kazakhstan.
Such a dehumanizing war shows that our desire to see the world as a free, civilized place is still brittle, and sadly, many people’s lives are still precariously balanced on military whims. We at 11 Bit knew we couldn’t measure our ongoing cooperation with Odd Meter merely due to the studio’s origins. As the team decided to leave Russia and move to Kazakhstan, we gave them all the time they needed to put their private and professional lives back on track.
Development deadlines could be postponed, and we needed to put a ton of new effort into paperwork. But most importantly, we didn’t interfere with the game content, its theme, or the story that bravely touches on topics that are almost absent from games up to now. With its artistic value at stake, any sort of censorship would imply our lack of confidence – and we wholeheartedly believe in Odd Meter’s efforts to craft a mind-boggling, one-of-a-kind, meaningful experience. We can’t wait for our community to play INDIKA and be mind-blown with us.
Be sure to check out the announcement trailer below, which features a statement from Game Director, Dmitry Svetlow talking about the challenges of uprooting the lives of a 16-person dev team to distance themselves from the ongoing war waged by their homeland.
Additionally, Odd Meter and 11 Bit have committed to donating part of the revenue from INDIKA to help children affected by the war in Ukraine.