Thanks to a quirky concept and an earworm of a theme song by Kero Kero Bonito, Bugsnax was the standout indie game from June 11's PS5 reveal event. While it's already become fairly popular on social media, you probably didn't realize developer Young Horses actually teased the game very blatantly all the way back in 2014.
On June 29, 2020 Young Horses founder Philip Tibitoski pointed out he first tweeted about "Bugsnax" all the way back on October 5, 2014. While the post boasts decent numbers now, it had minimal interactions until Tibitoski pointed this out. Subsequently, Twitter user @mistaketheory pointed out Tibitoski had also given even more details about the project in a series of tweets on October 3, 2014.
These tweets include the premise, described as "Pokémon Snap + Animal Crossing + Horrible Body Dysmorphia." Tibitoski also mentioned "the bugsnax actually are excited for you to eat them," and shared that "hunting and eating bugs as a little monster to change traits about yourself through eating to become friends + date others," is a mechanic. This pitch has aged like a fine wine in the last six years, with Pokémon Snap and Animal Crossing becoming bigger than ever in 2020.
Following Bugsnax's true unveiling at PS5 reveal event, these features were reaffirmed by a PlayStation blog post from Young Horses. It describes Bugsnax as an adventure game where players explore an island populated by adorable little critters. (Funnily enough, the 2014 tweets go into the game's mechanics in a bit more detail than the June 11 blog post!)
Young Horses declined to comment on the tweets when contacted by Inverse. Still, it's impressive to see that the small team has been working on Bugsnax for so long, as Young Horses appears to have begun working on the game in the months following Octodad's launch in early 2014.
The Inverse Analysis -- When Bugsnax launches later this year, it will be interesting to see how much of that initial pitch remains in the final game. We typically hear about games in the weeks or months leading up to launch, but six years out is certainly uncommon. It also means that Bugsnax has turned out to be one of the first next-generation games ever confirmed, even if we didn't realize it at the time. The idea is still very novel all these years later though, which is why Bugsnax is one of the most anticipated indie games for PS5.
Bugsnax will be released for PS4 and PS5 in late 2020.