November 22 was a big day for Motion Twin's Dead Cells, the indie roguelike that caught fire and won Best Action Game at The Game Awards 2018. It has continually put out updates since release, and on Monday Dead Cells put out Update 26: "Everyone is Here." The centerpiece of Update 26 is six crossovers based on different indie games, but perhaps the most interesting one for those looking forward to Hollow Knight: Silksong is The Knight's nail.
Five of the crossovers offer complete skins for Dead Cells' protagonist, The Beheaded: The Drifter from Heart Machine's Hyper Light Drifter, The Penitent One from The Game Kitchen's Blasphemous, Juan from Drinkbox Studios' Guacamelee, Skul from SouthPAW Games' Skul: The Hero Slayer, and Caradog McCallister from Passtech Games' Curse of the Dead Gods — which released Dead Cells DLC earlier this year. The Knight from Team Cherry's Hollow Knight is the only character to not appear directly (likely because they are canonically the size of a bug), but the fact this crossover is happening is still hopefully a good sign for ongoing development on Hollow Knight's sequel.
Hollow Knight: Silksong's Development Has Been Quiet
Hollow Knight: Silksong was announced over 1,000 days ago on February 14, 2019, and has been hotly anticipated ever since. Later that year, an extended gameplay segment debuted during E3 2019's Nintendo Treehouse Live event. However, despite the game looking rather fleshed out with a similar skeleton to the original Hollow Knight, news on the sequel is sparse.
A soundtrack preview released at the end of 2019, and more was shown in an Edge magazine spread at the end of 2020. Yet more common is radio silence, or in the odd case Team Cherry announcing Silksong would not appear at E3 2021 to tamp down fan expectations. The silence isn't surprising taking into consideration the Australian team's small numbers and likely setbacks on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's hard to even put stake in something like a February 2022 release window suggested by this year's Nvidia GeForce Now leak. Still, the Dead Cells crossover may offer some hope.
Dead Cells' Hollow Knight Crossover Could Mean Bigger Things to Come
It should be noted that a crossover appearance doesn't mean Silksong is necessarily closer to being finished. Something like The Knight appearing in Dead Cells would make a good marketing push, but given Hollow Knight's monumental success it's surprising there have not been more official crossovers unrelated to anything. If it were a Silksong advertisement, Hornet's needle and thread might have been a better weapon for The Beheaded to equip.
That said, a crossover of this calliber; one with seven different indie games coming together; must have taken a long time to organize. If Team Cherry was willing to commit to this idea it could mean the studio is revving up and wants to make sure Hollow Knight stays in the collective consciousness. The potential February 2022 release window might even hold more water with that assumption, especially if Team Cherry decides things are ready enough to jump back on the saddle at The Game Awards 2021 next month.
Dead Cells and Hollow Knight coming together could just as easily be a bit of fun for fans, as most other games appearing in Update 26 like Hyper Light Drifter and Guacamelee probably aren't using it as a springboard for more. Fun things like this happen all the time, such as the recent Terraria and Don't Starve crossover. Many fans will still hope for more though, and it would be nice to know whether Team Cherry is confident in revealing more about Silksong soon.
Hollow Knight: Silksong is currently in development for PC and Switch.
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