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The House of the Dead: Remake (ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド：リメイク Za hausu bbu za Deddo: Rimeiku ) is an upcoming horror-themed rail shooting game developed by MegaPixel Studio, financed by TA Publishing, and published by Forever Entertainment. A remake of the 1996 Sega rail shooter The House of the Dead, it is scheduled to release later this year on the Nintendo Switch.
Like the original game, the remake is set in December 1998. Driven insane by his research, Dr. Curien releases hostile biologically-engineered creatures in his mansion. Players control AMS agents Thomas Rogan and G, who must dispatch the threat and rescue Curien's staff, including Rogan's fiancée Sophie Richards.
Forever Entertainment obtained the rights from Sega in 2019 to develop and publish the remake, with Sega remaining the IP owner and receiving half of the profit. The House of the Dead: Remake will stay "faithful" to the original game's story while adding modernized graphics, voice acting, and gameplay adjustments.
As of April 14th, 2021, the game is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. There have been unconfirmed reports that Google Stadia, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Epic Game Store, and Steam will also be platforms.
According to Forever Entertainment's management board, The House of the Dead: Remake's story will remain "faithful" to the original. Preliminary screenshots depict Dr. Curien, numerous creatures, and Hermit, the third boss. The first trailer shows Curien confronting Thomas Rogan and G at the end of the third level. In another trailer, Rogan makes a brief appearance. Like the original game, the remake will have multiple endings.
The remake will have modern voice acting and audio quality, while retaining the original game's "cheesy" dialogue. Confirmed voice actors include Chris Okawa as Rogan, Brian Connor as Dr. Curien, Charlie Weirauch as G, and Natalie Roers as Sophie. Dianna Conley and Matthew Curtis have unknown roles.
According to its press release, the remake will receive "a whole new entourage". It is unknown if this refers to the new voice cast, or brand-new characters who are not from the original game.
The House of the Dead: Remake will reportedly be "true" to the original's rail shooting gameplay, supporting up to 2 players and having multiple endings. On the Nintendo Switch, the game may be played either via the console's TV, tabletop and handheld modes. The JoyCon analog joystick, gyroscope functionality, and other control styles will be offered.
Two modes of play have been confirmed: Classic Mode and Horde Mode. Classic Mode features the original House of the Dead with updated graphics. Horde Mode is a "modernized", fast-paced mode that has up to 15 times more creatures and allows the player to unlock rewards, such as other characters, through repeat play.
In addition to the default pistol, assault rifles and other weapons can be obtained. Unlike the arcade version, the player's score will always be visible, and point indicators will appear as creatures are defeated. However, the trailer states that the graphics and audio are subject to change. The blood color can be set to either red or green.
The House of the Dead is an arcade rail shooter developed by Sega AM1, a division of Sega, that was released to Japan in 1996 and internationally in 1997. The game, along with Resident Evil, has been credited for popularizing zombies in the media, though director Takashi Oda prefers calling the enemies "creatures" instead. The House of the Dead was ported to the Sega Saturn and Microsoft Windows with downgraded graphics. For technical reasons, the game was excluded from the 2008 compilation The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return.
The idea of a House of the Dead remake was conceived by Polish companies Forever Entertainment, MegaPixel Studio, and TA Publishing while developing their remake of Sega's 1995 video game Panzer Dragoon. On September 25th, 2019, Forever Entertainment signed agreements with SEGA Holding Co., Ltd. to remake The House of the Dead and its sequel, with both parties splitting the revenue. After this was reported by Polish news site Graczposolita, who TA Publishing CEO and co-producer Benjamin Anseaume claimed had "leaked" the news, Forever Entertainment confirmed the agreement signing on October 3rd, 2019.
The title was listed on Forever Entertainment's official website and other sources as The House of the Dead: Remake, though Anseaume's LinkedIn account erroneously named it House of the Dead HD. During investor chats in 2019 and 2020, Forever Entertainment CEO Zbigniew Dębicki gave updates on the status of the remake. He considers the remake an AA title and believes it has greater sales potential than Panzer Dragoon: Remake.
The House of the Dead: Remake's development team shares many staff members who worked on Panzer Dragoon: Remake. Benjamin Anseaume and Artur Gregozync, from TA Publishing and MegaPixel Studio, respectively, serve as producers. While the remake team is working with Sega, they have not communicated with Sega AM1. To research The House of the Dead, the team played its arcade and console versions on original hardware and emulators.
The team learned "a lot" from Panzer Dragoon: Remake; its Nintendo Switch version was criticized for its input lag, and the other platform releases were delayed due to the team's inexperience. Thus, for The House of the Dead: Remake, the team is targeting a frame rate of 60 FPS in the Switch's "docked" mode and 30 FPS in its "handheld" mode. In both modes, the game will run at 720p. The remake is also being tested on four different platforms.
Zbigniew Dębicki described The House of the Dead as "a typical gun game", which is the recommended gameplay of the remake. The team found it "tricky" to mimic light gun controls on the Switch. They ultimately chose to offer several control options so that everyone "will find a way to play the game the way they like". The team is not concerned about any backlash they could receive for the control scheme.
The original House of the Dead will not be included because its source code is lost, ripping geometry appeared to be "almost impossible" (despite that Tim "egregiousguy" Ritiau, a House of the Dead fan, has successfully done so), and that legal issues may arise from using these assets. A "Nostalgic Mode" with low-poly graphics may be considered if there is enough demand.
The House of the Dead: Remake is being developed at the same time as Panzer Dragoon II Zwei: Remake, Magical Drop 6, Shadowgate 2, and several unannounced Square Enix titles.
Zbigniew Dębicki claimed in November 2019 that the remake would premiere in 2020, which was corroborated by Forever Entertainment's 2020 premiere schedule. However, on January 22nd, 2021, Forever Entertainment tweeted that the House of the Dead remakes are still in development.
On February 2nd, 2021, a blank Twitter account for The House of the Dead: Remake was created, and the domain hotdremake.com was registered by Forever Entertainment. A member of the company confirmed on their Discord server that the Twitter account is official.
The remake was officially revealed during the Nintendo Indie World Showcase on April 14th, 2021. Following the presentation, the remake's Twitter account shared a full game trailer.
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- Weedon, Paul (July 17, 2017). George A. Romeo (interview). Paul Weedon. Archived from the original on December 30, 2019. “I think the zombie became popular because of Resident Evil and because of House of the Dead and because of video games more than anything else.”
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- Michał Król (September 25th, 2019). "Polacy stworzą remake dwóch części The House of the Dead" (Polish). Gramposolita.pl. “The House of the Dead: Remake i The House of the Dead 2: Remake będą mieć nową, dostosowaną do współczesnych standardów grafikę oraz lekko zmodyfikowaną rozgrywkę, ale w pełni zachowają oryginalny scenariusz. Spółka zapowiedziała, że materiały z pierwszej z gier zostaną zaprezentowane w najbliższych miesiącach.”
- "106 - Benjamin Anseaume from Forever Entertainment" (English). The SEGA Lounge (March 19, 2020). Retrieved on July 21, 2020.
- Forever Entertainment [@ForeverEntert] (October 3, 2020). Forever Entertainment on Twitter: "Hi Guys! We confirm the signing of the agreement regarding remakes of the games "The House of the Dead" and "The House of the Dead 2". No platforms or release dates have been confirmed, and unfortunately we can’t say anything more for now. Please keep fingers crossed for us and.." / Twitter. Twitter. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020.
- Premier Schedule 2020 (English). Forever Entertainment. Retrieved on September 11th, 2020.
- "Benjamin Anseaume's LinkedIn profile" (English). Retrieved on July 21, 2020.
- "Czat inwestorski z prezesem zarządu Forever Entertainment SA" (Polish). Stockwatch.pl (April 6, 2020). Retrieved on August 14, 2020.
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- Tim Ritiau [@egregiousguy] (March 11, 2021). Tim Ritiau on Twitter: "Up for today we have BO_hiru. A quick google translation defines hiru as "leech" which makes sense. It has 6 animations and differ from the Murrers and "Name" from Chapter 1. #hotd #houseofthedead #unusedcontent #hiru" (English). Twitter.
- "Czat ze Zbigniewem Dębickim - prezesem zarządu Forever Entertainment SA" (Polish). Stockwatch.pl (March 22, 2020). Retrieved on August 14, 2020.
- Forever Entertainment [@ForeverEntert] (January 22, 2021). Forever Entertainment on Twitter: "Forever Entertainment on Twitter: "@Her_Reidiance Yes, we still do! It's still in development! Follow us to be up to date with any news about the games! 😉" / Twitter" / Twitter. Twitter.
- House of the Dead: Remake's Social Blade
- The Wiki of the Dead [@wiki_dead] (February 7, 2020). The Wiki of the Dead on Twitter: "A @HOTDRemake Twitter account was launched earlier this month. On Forever Entertainment's Discord server, it was recently confirmed to be official. The domain http://hotdremake.com has also been registered by Forever Entertainment." / Twitter. Twitter.