Legendary indie dev behind hit roguelike Spelunky says we might get a third game, but it'll be "pretty different"

Spelunky 2 artwork showing a character wearing a yellow coat and mining hardhat while wielding a torch
(Image credit: Mossmouth)

After almost four years of lovingly replaying Spelunky 2, independent developer Mossmouth says that fans may finally see a third roguelike gem come to fruition one day.

Following the 2020 release of Spelunky's well-received successor, many fans were left wondering whether the iconic platformer series would receive another sequel or not. Derek Yu, founder of Mossmouth and mastermind behind the beloved 2D duo, has answered burning questions regarding a third game previously, albeit vaguely. Just one year after the second Spelunky's launch, Yu spoke at the Game Developers Conference where he revealed that there wouldn't be a new sequel "any time soon." However, he confirmed that this doesn't mean a third Spelunky won't happen at some point in the future, saying to "never say never."

It seems that Yu still holds this same sentiment in 2024. Speaking to Edge, the award-winning dev explains how the second Spelunky entry left him more satisfied than the original. "Unlike after Spelunky 1," Yu says he wasn't left with the feeling that there was "so much left on the cutting room floor" that he could try and put into a new sequel. While he admits that he isn't currently considering work on Spelunky 3, Yu describes how if (and clarifies that it's a "big if") he goes on to make a third game, "the structure would probably have to be pretty different in some way, to open up the possibilities again."

But what would that structure look like? Yu delves further into a potential third Spelunky, detailing how its "basic paradigm would need to be changed in some way." More specifically, he would want the new sequel to offer a different perspective and fresh goal, changing things up rather than giving players another Spelunky where they "do runs through this arcade-style experience," which Yu feels "Spelunky 2 did a pretty good job of." To properly do so, the Mossmouth creator states that he'd need to "go back and think about how to reinvent Spelunky a little bit."

It's unclear whether or not Yu would join forces with partner studio BlitWorks for a third Spelunky as he did for the 2020 sequel, but it seems unlikely. In 2021, Larian Studios acquired the co-developer and BlitWorks has since worked exclusively as a porting and publishing branch. The team's founder, Tony Cabello, calls Spelunky 2 the "highest point" of the studio's career, with the game remaining the company's first and only original title to date. 

Check out our recent Spelunky 2 interview for more from the roguelike's indie developer.

Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.