Lords of the Fallen series has a new developer, Defiant, who are going to develop the sequel for the first game. The new developers have decided to throw the pre-production progress from Deck 13 away and start from scratch on their own.
Defiant Studios are a new developer, situated in New York, but they seem to be confident in their goals as they have decided to completely wipe any progress on Lords of the Fallen 2 made by Deck 13.
According to David Grijns, Defiant Studios' managing director, the team is looking for a fresh start in a new engine, namely Unreal 4. He added that the team does not really have a long and illustrious background in action RPG development but they "see it as a strength". While it sounds cocky for a fresh studio, Deck 13 didn't exactly raise the bar high with the original game.
Lords of the Fallen managed to find a dedicated audience, and therefore created a polarising situation as many criticised it for not being polished and to some extent - finished. This decision may be the work of CI Games though, the partial publisher of Lords of the Fallen, as they have both announced the news of a Lords of the Fallen sequel as well as the fact that Deck 13 will not be the developer behind it later on.
This theory is further compounded by Grijns' statement that both Defiant and CI Games want to bring a "highly polished experience" , but with a somewhat small, tight-knit team.
Grijns stated that the studio does not feel overwhelmed with the challenge of entering the action RPG genre, stating that impossible missions like grabbing a slice of cake from under From Software's nose are actually the exact sort of projects that his team loves.
He added that he loves what From Software does but Defiant will attempt to bring "something new" to the genre. This will not go without a challenge of its own though, as From Software's new IP, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is looking rather promising, with next generation of Souls-like combat in hand.
The official site of Defiant Studios doesn't offer much info about the staff, but Grijns used to be the lead of Avalanche Studios' New York office. You can find more information on the upcoming sequel, as well as the developer's thoughts in Eurogamer's interview with David Grijns.