As someone who was a fan of the old side-scrolling Shinobi and Strider games during the 16-bit era, The Devil Within: Satgat immediately caught my interest for its hack and slash combat that veers towards the spectacle. Developed on Unreal Engine 4 by a small studio in Korea, the game is already getting high praise amongst indie gaming fans for its slick animation, and is best described as a 2.5D action adventure with Metroidvania elements where you assume the role of Satgat – a seasoned warrior who travels across a world that’s been overrun by evil sprits.
I spoke to Manjae Lee (CEO and Director) and Chanwoo Cho (Business Director) of Newcore Games about their forthcoming The Devil Within: Satgat game, and also got to ask them about their indie studio. Enjoy!
Mr. Lee, as the CEO and the Director of Newcore Games, what difficulties have you had in marketing your games to international audiences in Europe and America?
Manjae Lee: [Laughs] I have a real concern about how Western audiences will perceive the game, because we are adapting some Korean cultural elements to the game. So I have some concerns because we don’t fully understand the European or American culture.
What inspired your The Devil Within game?
Manjae Lee: There is an old Korean book about Kim Satgat, a writer that wanders around the nation to fulfil his soul. So this game is about his character, Kim Satgat, and I was inspired from that character to design the game.
How long has the game been in development for?
Manjae Lee: So far, it has taken one and a half years.
When’s the game out?
Chanwoo Cho: It will be released next summer.
So roughly two and a half years in total?
Chanwoo Cho: Yes, two and a half total years of development.
Mr Lee, what were the early days of Newcore Games like? What difficulties did you have in establishing the company to where it is now? I’d also like to know a little bit more about your background as a games developer and company owner…
Manjae Lee: My background is that I used to work for a huge company in Korea called Smilegate. I had worked there a long time, but I quit the job because I wanted to make my own game. The difficulty I had when I found the company is of course financial. I’m the father of two kids, and I had to take care of my family. So that kind of financial difficulty is what I faced when I found the game and the company. Another difficulty is also seed money, when I was seeking this, it was a tough challenge.
How many games has Newcore Games developed before The Devil Within?
Manjae Lee: The company was established in 2020, so it’s been nearly three years. So far, we have launched one casual roguelike mobile game called I am Zombie. And our second project is The Devil Within: Satgat.
Mr Lee, you established Newcore Games nearly three years ago. What are your future goals for the company?
Manjae Lee: First of all, I want to successfully launch The Devil Within: Satgat next summer, and that also means globally. And then if it becomes a meaningful achievement, then I want to make the IP bigger.
Does that involve comic books, or even something like an animation series?
Manjae Lee: Yes. I want to grow this IP more and more, and larger and larger. In terms of the company, I want to have a happy life with our employees together. If we have any meaningful success after launching the game, I want to properly reward the current team members.
Thank you so much.