22 years later, Kien is finally out on Game Boy Advance

In 2002, a group of friends in Italy started developing an action-platform game with RPG elements for Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance handheld. Then 22 years passed and now, in 2024, Kien finally arrives on the GBA, ending one of the longest delays in video game history.

Over the decades, there have been countless games with lengthy development cycles and delayed releases. One of the most famous is Duke Nukem Foreverwhich was first announced in 1997 but ultimately never shipped until 2011almost 15 years later. But Kien it took even longer for it to finally arrive.

As reported by The guard and Patricia Hernandez (former EIC of Kotaku), Kien was developed in 2002 by a small group of friends in Italy. None of them had any experience making games. But for the next two years, the friends worked extremely hard to Kientook few breaks and cracked a lot. After a few years of development the game was finished and ready to be published. The high cost of shipping the game on Game Boy carts and the risk that Kien failed, resulting in no publisher wanting to release the game.

GameTrailers / Incube8

In the end, only one member of the original development team remained: game designer Fabio Belsanti. Despite believing in the unpublished game, he moved on with his life, founded a new development company, and began creating educational games for children and teenagers. But despite everything, Belsanti never gave up hope KienWhen he recently noticed that retro games and consoles were popular again, he decided to return to Kien and give it another chance.

“I believe we are in a phase similar to [the revival of] vinyl or cassettes for music,” Belsanti said The guard“a return to earlier, more primitive forms of the medium, driven by nostalgia of the generations that lived in those eras, and curiosity of those who came after that technology.”

Belsanti partnered with Incube8, a publisher focused on releasing and supporting new games for classic consoles like the GBA. Incube8 was a perfect match for Kien and in June it finally launched, 22 years after development of the action-platformer began.

“On a romantic level, the thought of releasing the game on the original console is just magical,” Belsanti said. “To see Kien “Coming to life on the platform it was designed for is a dream come true.”

Kien is out nowYou can purchase a physical version of the game for the Game Boy Advance or a digital version that you can play on an emulator.


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