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Denkiworks Is New Studio from Cursed to Golf Director, First Game Will Explore Japan’s Beauty

Liam Edwards, Taku Arioka, & Jan de Graaf (PixelJunk Scrappers, Cursed to Golf) create Denkiworks, a Kyoto game studio, for Project Tanuki.

Liam Edwards, Taku Arioka, and Jan de Graaf, who among them developed PixelJunk Scrappers and Cursed to Golf, have partnered to create Denkiworks, a Kyoto, Japan-based game studio. The three-person team is focusing on creating innovative indie titles that offer an “East meets West” perspective, with its debut game, “Project Tanuki,” already in development with the Unity game engine. Details on the game are light, though it is described to be inspired by the Japanese countryside and rural culture.

Edwards explained that the team’s real-life experiences are helping shape the project:

We are so excited to finally reveal Denkiworks. We’ve been hard at work on our first title, inspired by our experiences of life in Japan, coming from an expat and native perspective. It’s essentially a love letter to this country and its beautiful culture. We all have an idealised vision of what Japan is, especially its stunning countryside, popularized in art and media over centuries. Project Tanuki will be our take on that!

For Project Tanuki, Edwards and Arioka are designers, and Graaf is operating as the programmer. The three developers met while working on PixelJunk Scrappers at Q-Games, with Edwards going on to direct Cursed to Golf at Chuhai Labs after. The former is an action beat ‘em up, and the latter is a unique roguelite golf game. So it’s hard to say what shape the studio’s first project will take. However, Denkiworks’ established team is aiming to deliver creative experiences.

“Forming a new studio is always risky, but we needed to take ourselves out of our comfort zone,” Arioka said. “We have so many ideas and needed complete creative freedom to pursue them. “It’s been so stimulating to collaborate with Liam and Jan again, and work on the new project has been progressing so well already. We cannot wait to reveal it to the world!”

Stay tuned for more information on Project Tanuki and Denkiworks.

About the author

Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.