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Devolver Digital co-founder departs therapeutic game publisher DeepWell

Mike Wilson served as DeepWell's chief creative officer but has distanced himself from the company's latest project.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 8, 2024

2 Min Read
A photograph of Devolver co-founder Mike Wilson (left) and medtech innovator Ryan Douglas (right)
Devolver co-founder Mike Wilson (left) and medtech innovator Ryan Douglas (right) Image via DeepWell

DeepWell co-founder and chief creative officer Mike Wilson, who you might know best as the co-founder of Devolver Digital, has left the therapeutic game publisher after two years.

Wilson broke the news on Linkedin and said he felt "compelled" to let his industry colleagues know he departed in late 2023 and wasn't involved with the development or launch of DeepWell's latest title.

"I left DeepWell late 2023, along with almost all of the games industry colleagues I brought to that company, and have absolutely nothing to do with the game they released today on the Quest store (which they called Zengeance) and which my colleagues also asked to have their names removed from," he wrote.

"I still have high hopes and strong beliefs for the power of games and other digital media to benefit people, but could not see a path to getting it done in that company."

If you're unfamiliar with DeepWell's first game, Zengence is listed on the Meta Quest storefront (it appears Wilson misspelled the game's name in his post). There's also no mention of the project on the DeepWell website, which hasn't issued a new press release or update since June 30, 2022.

Game Developer has reached out to DeepWell for more information on the status of Zengence and the company.

When launching DeepWell in 2022, Wilson said the plan was to work alongside medical device development specialist Ryan Douglas to create titles that could help treat various health conditions.

He felt there was a gap in the market for projects with tangible therapeutic benefits that would also be enjoyable video games in their own right. "What the people from the medical side of [DeepWell] are excited about is finally having therapies that people will actively voluntarily engage in because they're having a good time," Wilson told Game Developer at launch.

"When you're having a good time, you're much more neuro-available—to have breakthroughs, to get unstuck, and to see things in a new way."

Now, for reasons that remain unclear, Wilson has chosen to step back from DeepWell.

Update: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Zengence and a link to the Meta Quest store page.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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