‘Heartworm’ Locks In New Publisher

Heartworm is a love letter to survival horror from the early 2000s. Players take on the role of Sam after losing her loved one. She finds a way on the dark web to contact the dead in the form of a mysterious house in the mountains. Using her camera to fend off entities from an interesting third-person perspective when it comes to combat. While Sam explores a world built from her memories, Sam will stop at nothing to escape.

However, the story of Heartworm was cut short late in 2023 as its publisher ran into financial issues and backed out after Heartworm was roughly 50% done with development. Vincent Adinolfi put a call to Twitter: “I was really hoping we could dodge the rough times hitting games lately, but unfortunately, our publisher has decided to exit our contract due to financial issues, and we need a publishing agreement to finish Heartworm. Any leads or help would be appreciated.”

But news came today that publisher DreadXP has picked up Heartworm to help it cross the finish line. The game’s announcement and trailer show that it is targeting a 2025 release date. When asked, Vincent had nothing but glowing things to say about DreadXP getting involved.

Adinolfi said, “Needless to say, I’m ecstatic. Dread is a perfect match for Heartworm, given their lineage. It just makes sense. This game means the world to me, and for them to believe in me and want to see it through just as much as I do is huge. There were times last year when I honestly thought it was the end for Heartworm. There was a lot of uncertainty last year for the game. Between the unexpected end of our previous publishing agreement and the general air of uncertainty in the industry, I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish this game that I’d put everything into. So, I’m beyond thrilled to have the support needed to bring the game to release now. ”

We were able to speak with Adinolfi after the news of the new Heartworm publisher dropped. Read our exclusive interview below.

DC: With Heartworm getting back into development. How do you and the team feel knowing you get to share your vision?

Vincent Adinolfi: So so excited and grateful. It was a real hit to my morale when we had to stop. I wasn’t sure we’d ever be able to start up again. However, I was reminded of how interested people are in the project. That really helped get me through that time. My team has been supportive and in love with the project from the beginning. So they are all really happy to be able to continue working on it, as am I to have them and to be able to bring them back. They are an amazing collection of people, and I’m happy to be able to support them while they collaborate with me on this project.

DC:  There are some very clear inspirations, but what would you say your biggest ones have been? 

VA: It definitely wears its inspirations on its sleeve. Of course, the Resident Evils (RE1 PSX is far and away my favorite and most inspirational to me) and Silent Hills (1/2/3). But other maybe less frequently praised titles like Eternal Darkness, Martian Gothic, Alone in the Dark, and Koudelka are all constantly on rotation in my mind. 

While Heartworm is inspired mechanically from, of course, the classics of the genre, I feel really inspired by photography (Gregory Crewdson), movies (suburban horror/mystery like Donnie Darko, It Follows, Halloween, Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, the V/H/S series), and books (mostly Hermann Hesse, my favorite author, and House of Leaves, but only the vague idea because I never finished the book). I wanted to do something that wasn’t as on the nose as Resident Evil. But also, I can’t really even aspire to make something as cerebral as Silent Hill. So I hope to land somewhere in between.

DC: Now that development is ramping back up, what is the first thing you would like to tackle? 

VA: In a way, the break in development was kind of helpful in that I got to step back and think about some lingering bigger-picture questions about the game to further try and tie everything together. It feels hard to make something that leans so heavily on mood and atmosphere because you don’t really know how it’s going to look as a whole when it all comes together. So, I think I have a little more clarity regarding that now. That said, we have some really cool chapters that haven’t been seen yet that we’re working on. So I’m excited for those new areas, also the cutscenes and new enemies we have planned. There’s a lot to be excited about.

DC: Is there anything you would like to say both to the newcomers of Heartworm and the longtime fans?

VA: It’s hard to express how much via words on a screen. But, truly, thank you for supporting the game. I never thought I would be making this video game. We literally would not be able to make it if it wasn’t for the support of the people out there who have played the demo, wishlisted, made videos, and even just interacted on social media. I know it feels like maybe it’s been a long time coming, but I truly think you will be happy when we are finished. I’m so grateful that we have been given another opportunity to deliver.

While 2025 is a long way off, I am excited that Heartworm is going to be actualized. It’s an exciting time. Heartworm has always seemed like such a fantastic project, and now we finally get to see it come to fruition. In the meantime, follow Heartworm and DreadXP on Twitter to stay up to date.



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