Microsoft is reportedly developing a new video game based on the Wu-Tang Clan. That’s right, the infamous hip hop group that brought us RZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and more east coast music icons will feature heavily in a new action-RPG, according to Windows Central.
Windows Central’s reporting was reinforced by GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb, who said on his video show that he understood the information to be correct.
The game, codenamed “Shaolin,” is reportedly in development at Brass Lion Entertainment, a newer studio that focuses on “fictional universes that center on Black, Brown, and other traditionally marginalized characters, cultures, and stories.” The studio was founded by Manveer Heir (lead designer on Mass Effect 3), Bryna Dabby Smith (Def Jam Vendetta and Sleeping Dogs), and Rashad Redic (artist on The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Fallout 3). The studio lists collaborators such as the Grammy-winner Just Blaze (hip hop producer for Jay-Z, Drake, Beyonce) and writer Evan Narcisse (Rise of the Black Panther, in addition to a long history of video game journalism).
Brass Lion’s first game, Corner Wolves, is described as narrative fictional podcast following a young Afro-Latina woman as she adventures through mid-90’s Harlem to find her father’s killer, touching on subjects including the drug war’s impact on black and brown communities.
The game is reportedly a “third-person fantasy RPG” that will feature seasonal content and be an estimated “couple dozen hours” long.
The game will also reportedly be melee combat-focused and that it will support 4-player co-op, Windows Central said. The games-as-a-service aspects don’t stop there. Players will be able to collect loot such as weapons and gear by completing procedural endgame dungeons or “tailor-made events.”
Actual Wu-Tang Clan fans will also be happy to hear that the group will create the game’s soundtrack.
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Don’t expect to hear too much about the game in the immediate future, though. Heir tweeted last month that the studio was looking for a game designer to work on their unannounced project.
The game’s “Shaolin” codename is likely a reference to Wu-Tang Clan’s frequent theme of Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang martial arts styles. Original members Ol’ Dirty Bastard and RZA similarly adopted the group’s name from the 1983 martial arts film “Shaolin and Wu Tang,” several samples of which made it onto the group’s first album 36 Chambers. The group’s first video game was also titled Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, which released on PS1 in 1999. Members of the group also appeared as themselves in the Def Jam wrestling games.
The leak in question is tied to the Nvidia GeForce Now leak last month, in which listings for numerous new games and PC ports appeared, but a number of those listings (like a 2022 release date for BioShock 4) appear dubious at best.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.