It seems Rime developer Tequila Works first approached Microsoft with the game in hopes of making it an Xbox One exclusive.
That news come courtesy of an allegedly leaked document published by VGLeaks, in which the developer lays out their proposed budget and design principles for Echoes of Siren, the game that would later become Rime. According to this pitch, Tequila Works was willing to make Echoes of Siren exclusive to Microsoft platforms, with Xbox Live Arcade and Windows 8 versions on the table. The fact that the game is now solely destined for PlayStation 4 would seem to indicate that it was only when Microsoft decided they weren’t interested that the studio began to look elsewhere for funding—and eventually found it with Sony.
While its entirely possible this leak is a forgery, it’s not unreasonable that Tequila Works might have gone to Microsoft first. Their debut project, the 2012 zombie platformer Deadlight, remains an Xbox 360 and Windows PC exclusive.
The document, if legitimate, also reveals several new details about the project, though judging by the announcement trailer we saw at Gamescom, a lot more than the name has changed since the pitch was written. Back then, Tequila Works described Echoes of Siren as an isometric action-RPG with an emphasis on survival, crafting, and tower defense–style segments. Their vision for the game also included a dynamic day/night cycle and full character customization.
Rime, on the other hand, looks to be a much more conventional third-person adventure game with platforming elements, and official Sony promotional materials for the game have perhaps tellingly chosen to label it “adventure” rather than “action” or “RPG.” It’ll be interesting to see how much of this original vision for the game makes it into the finished product.
Exactly when we’ll find out remains an open question. Though Rime was originally expected to hit sometime this year, Sony recently confirmed that the game might not be out until 2015.