The makers of Oxenfree have started teasing the upcoming sequel via audio transmissions in the original game. Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals is set to arrive sometime next year, and it’ll feature villains who’re causing mysterious radio signals that mess with electronics. But it seems they’re already up to no good, because an update to the original Oxenfree has introduced these spooky transmissions, which you can hear in several different areas in the supernatural thriller.
“We tried to stop it. We failed. Signals are breaking through into Oxenfree, and we can’t block them,” developers Night School Studio said in last week’s update post.
“If we’re going to beat wha-ever is invading the r-dio waves, we’re going to need your hel-. Hard-n Tower. Epipha-y Fields. Fo-t Milner. Download this new patch, -o there, and tell us what you hear.”
Valve did a similar thing to tease Portal 2 way back in 2010, updating the first Portal’s ending to lead into the sequel (as well as adding a bunch of other tease-y things).
In an interview with IGN, the devs explain that they wanted to make something that goes a little “deeper” than other ARGs to introduce the sequel’s villains, though they’re being cautious not to give away too much.
“This is giving you a sense of who the quote-unquote ‘bad guys’ are going to be for Oxenfree 2,” lead writer Adam Hines said. “Then also when you start to play Oxenfree 2, if you’ve done the radio update journey from Oxenfree 1, hopefully that will feel like you already have a sense of how they got to where they are.”
“There was never a clear antagonist [in Oxenfree 1],” studio director Sean Krankel added. “So introducing the antagonists in an interesting way just felt like a compelling, cool thing to do instead of having a trailer just focused on them. Why not let you hear them doing their dirty work in the first game?”
Oxenfree has been in my backlog for years now, and I think this is exactly the motivation I needed to finally give it a go. Back in 2016, Pip said the game was an “unexpected delight” in her Oxenfree review. “Atmospheric, beautiful and with the ability to feel real connections between its characters,” she wrote.