The autumn festivities are finally underway, which can mean only one thing: Poppy Playtime is once again on the verge of bringing yet another chapter to its universally-acclaimed plush-centric horror anthology. That’s right — the third installment in the Mob Entertainment series is about to make its formal debut, which means fans of the IP can expect to see another layer of the ever-ambient world of Playtime Co. over the next several months. Finally.
In light of the latest developments on the Poppy Playtime framework, I thought I’d catch up with Mob Entertainment founders, Seth and Zach Belanger, the brotherly duo who’ve managed to transform their episodic series into an uncontrollable force to be reckoned with. Question is, what’s next for the studio, and more importantly, the lovable monsters over at Playtime Co.?
Tell us a bit about your journey as developers. How did it all begin?
Seth: We started out as content creators on YouTube creating animated fandom videos. We built an audience very quickly. Very soon our videos were generating millions of views. There were a few instances where our videos generated hundreds of millions of views. It was amazing! That early success paved the way for us to continue and expand our creative endeavors into a variety of platforms and mediums.
Zach: Early on we envisioned building a company that would develop many forms of entertainment, from music videos, short and long form videos, to games and any other types of media that develops. This is the perfect time to continue growing our audience while rethinking the normal way of doing things in the entertainment industry. We strive to do that while remaining consistent with our vision of delivering well-crafted stories and characters.
So, where did the inspiration for Poppy Playtime come from? Is this an idea that Mob Entertainment has wanted to tap into for some time?
Seth: Zach and I have always been media junkies. Movies, games, pop culture, music; we’re attracted to things that are visually appealing and develop a deep back story. That is what is most intriguing to us. Inspiration for the Playtime Co. found in the games came from the real world toy company IDEAL which was founded in the 1900’s. They were one of the largest toy making companies in the U.S. It was this wide range of dolls and toys they had that made us think about telling a story in that setting.
Zach: We were searching for the right idea for months if not years until we finally stumbled on the right one. The rest is history!
And what about its characters? It’s fair to say that Huggy Wuggy is about as recognizable as Scream’s Ghostface is these days. Tell us, how did you come up with the designs for the antagonists?
Seth: We purposely set out to develop a mix of “sweet and approachable” with “deadly and terrifying”. You see that in all the characters in the game. Usually when you first meet them, you think “loveable toy” and want to rush towards them to play with them. It’s that childlike innocence that draws you in. Then when you get too close, you discover the character’s dark traits. Then your only option is to run for your life. You have to do a 180 degree turn of emotions from happy and loveable to sheer terror and flight very quickly in order to survive. That’s what makes the games so special.
Statistically, Poppy Playtime is one of the most popular indie horror series on the market. In your own words, why do you think the game appeals to so many players?
Seth: It boils down to three key factors that hook the audience and make them lean into this interactive experience. First, it’s widely accessible. It’s easy to jump in and play. The Grab Pack mechanic is easy to learn and understand, yet it can change as the game develops. Poppy Playtime’s puzzles and mini games are challenging, but not impossible. Second, the story is intriguing. Our audience has been left wanting more. They want to learn more about Poppy and Huggy Wuggy’s backstory and how they came to be. And with each new chapter, we introduce new characters. So the story of the existing characters gets more intertwined and the overall story gets even deeper. Who knows where this story will end up? Finally, it is very visually appealing. Each time we put out a new chapter or content, we push ourselves to enhance the cinematics. You can enter any room in the game and find details that help piece together more of the story.
Tell us about the upcoming chapter, Deep Sleep. What can we expect from this next episode in the series?
Zach: Chapter 3 is going to be the biggest chapter in the series to date. We have many surprises in store for players including more types of puzzles, new characters who will either help you or try to squander your progress, and more jump scares which have been a mainstay and ultimately define the Poppy universe.
Seth: Chapter 1 and 2 left off on cliffhangers and fans have been anxiously waiting for answers. There are tons of theories out there on the internet. Chapter 3 will certainly address the cliff hangers of Chapters 1 & 2, but will also bring about some new questions while adding layers to the story. Deep Sleep serves as a pivotal point in the Poppy universe and sets a new direction of the story. We’ve also put our environment design skills to the test and Chapter 3 is set to be the most visually cinematic game to date.
The trailer for Deep Sleep also reveals a new mysterious antagonist. Not to pry or anything, but who or what is it? We’ve been trying to figure this one out for months!
Seth: This is what we love about our community. Everyone working together, theorizing and conspiring about what’s to come and who the new characters are. What I will share is that players will all experience different emotions. Some will laugh, others will scream and some may even cry. And who knows, Huggy Wuggy may have some competition for fan favorite.
So, what’s next for Poppy Playtime? Are we likely to see a fourth chapter at any point in the future? A fifth, perhaps? No pressure!
Seth: We are always thinking several steps ahead about where we can take the story next. We don’t want to deviate from the overarching lore we established with Chapter 1 so we’re constantly working to build upon it. I know this story is far from over. And there are entire sections of the Playtime factory that we haven’t even unlocked yet. There is still a lot to discover!
Lastly, do you have any plans to bring Poppy Playtime to Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch?
Zach: Console has always been part of our vision and something we’re working toward as we speak. If that is where the fans are, we’ll bring the game to them. I think Poppy Playtime fans who play on consoles will be very excited and pleased very soon.
Thanks for your time, guys!
Poppy Playtime is currently available to purchase on Android, iOS, and PC via Steam. For more updates on Poppy Playtime, feel free to check in with Mob Entertainment over on their official social handle here.