A long-forgotten PlayStation One game, Magic Castle, has finally released after 20 years of obscurity.
Magic Castle is a rogue-like game that started development 20 years ago on Sony’s PlayStation Net Yaroze platform.
Net Yaroze was a project by Sony, which saw hobbyists able to get a basic version of the PlayStation dev kit for around £500. Small developers then made games, and became part of a community of developers.
Eventually some of those games were made available on cover disks for Official PlayStation Magazine.
— PIROWO (@PIROWO1) December 24, 2020
An interview on the official Net Yaroze Europe website with the developers of Magic Castle K. Matsunami, a developer who now works for Sega, and another developer by the name of PIROWO, goes into detail of the game’s development.
Matsunami explains that they created Magic Castle in about eight months. “It was incomplete, but the concept of the game was fully expressed. Even if it was unfinished, it was very interesting.”
The small team sent a videotape and a proposal to Sony, which landed them a meeting with executives at the business.
According to Matsunami, they received a proposal to join Sony and work on a project, but they chose to decline, saying they “didn’t want to go back to a corporate environment where we couldn’t develop games with our ideas freely.”
Ultimately they were approached by a company that “that produces famous Japanese RPG’s” and were given a chance to make their game if they were able to gather enough development staff, however.
“We were naive, and we weren’t able to fill the gap. We didn’t know any game developers who could participate in the project, so we couldn’t get enough development members.” Soon after Matsunami broke up the team.
Despite this, years later the game has now been completed and made available for all to download, marking the first PlayStation One game to be released in 2021.