Dead Cells is currently embroiled in a row over its developer’s decision to leave the game behind to focus on its next title, Windblown.

Earlier this month, the developers of the critically acclaimed, 10 million selling 2D roguelike signaled their intention to leave Dead Cells behind after five years of updates. Original developer and current Dead Cells IP owner Motion Twin issued a statement to the Dead Cells Steam page alerting players to update 35, appropriately titled The End is Near, on PC and consoles and update 34, called Clean Cut, for the mobile version, which will be the game’s last.

Meanwhile Evil Empire, which was set up by former Motion Twin staff to work on updates for Dead Cells over the last half decade, issued a statement of its own, saying its Dead Cells development team was now working on secret projects.

The news sparked comments from former Dead Cells lead designer Sébastien Benard, who took to the game’s Discord to call Motion Twin’s decision an “asshole move” against Evil Empire. Here’s what he said:

“Since you’re asking me, I’d just say Motion Twin did the worst imaginable asshole move against Dead Cells and Evil Empire. Having seen first hand the actual situation behind the scene, I can honestly say I’m glad to not be part of this anymore. The official statement is total marketing bulls**t, the way this situation happened is on a whole different level. I never imagined my former coop studio would turn out to be such greedy people. I wish the absolute best to Evil Empire for their next things, and hope people working there will survive this sudden economic cut.”

IGN has asked Motion Twin for a comment but it has yet to respond. Meanwhile, Benard has followed up wth a blog post apologising for what he called his “blunt words”, but continued to hit out at Motion Twin.

“Recently, Motion Twin abruptly decided to cancel all upcoming updates for Dead Cells, a move that left the player community quite speechless,” Benard said, noting Evil Empire had content plans for the game into 2025.

“The kind of obvious reason for all this fuzz is certainly to leave room for Windblown, the upcoming dash-dash-dash rogue from Motion Twin,” Benard alleged. “I kind of understand the Motion Twin strategy: it’s a rather logical marketing stunt. Get rid of Dead Cells to leave room for Windblown. But as Motion Twin always did, it’s a one-way strategy that leaves people behind: both loyal players and employees at Evil Empire. Nothing really new, unfortunately.”

Benard’s comments cast a shadow over Motion Twin and Windblown, which was announced at the 2023 Game Awards and is set for launch on Steam in early access form at some point this year. The Windblown trailer reveals fast-paced action, with an eye-catching transition from an anime-esque cutscene to 3D gameplay, and an emphasis on co-op play.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.