Bendy and the Ink Machine is an episodic first-person survival horror video game developed and published by Kindly Beast[a] under the name of the game’s in-universe animation studio Joey Drew Studios Inc. It was initially released to Game Jolt on February 10, 2017, as the first of five chapters, with a full release on October 27, 2018. The game was also released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on November 20, 2018, being published by Rooster Teeth Games, and for IOS and Android on December 21, 2018.
Inspired by the BioShock game series, the game is set on the fictional studio of Joey Drew Studios, where the player controls Henry Stein, a retired animator which receives a letter from his old workmate, Joey Drew, inviting him to back to his old workplace, where he discovers a series of strange paranormal activities caused by the titular Ink Machine. In the game, players navigate through a first person perspective and they need to complete certain tasks to proceed, which consist of collecting certain objects to solve puzzles or to combat enemies by using certain weapons. They can also find audio logs recorded by the studio’s employees in order to understand the game’s history.
Bendy and the Ink Machine was well-received upon its initial release, with praise centering on its vintage aesthetic and story, although its puzzles and combat mechanics were severily criticized. In the months following its release, it quickly gained a massive following from exposure on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, and eventually was approved through Steam Greenlight in mid-2017. Merchandise, as well as a mobile spin-off, was later introduced to further promote the game. Mike Mood, the game’s programmer and co-creator, described the game as an “accidental success”. A next game, intitled Bendy and the Dark Revival, is currently in development and is scheduled to be released in 2021.