Bloodborne Kart sheds branding, reemerges as Nightmare Kart

It’s a tough time to be a Bloodborne fan. Sony seems dead set on keeping it under lock and key, and evidently that extends to innocent fan games as well. Bloodborne Kart, a half-serious fan game, is rebranding to the more lawyer-friendly Nightmare Kart after direct intervention from Sony.

Notably, Bloodborne Kart comes from Lilith Walther, the solo developer who put out an excellent PS1-style Bloodborne “demake” in 2022. Why this project attracted Sony’s attention and that one didn’t is anyone’s guess, but it could be Bloodborne Kart‘s bigger scope, higher levels of publicity, or maybe Sony is secretly working on a Bloodborne Kart of their own somewhere. Either way, Bloodborne Kart is now Nightmare Kart, as revealed in a new trailer posted by Walther today.

The Hunter and their motorcycle in Nightmare Kart.
A little less Lovecraft, a little more Van Helsing. Image via Lilith Walther

From the start, Bloodborne Kart had potential. It took the characters and setting from FromSoftware masterpiece (and I don’t use that word lightly) Bloodborne, transplanting them into a high-octane PS1-era arcade kart racer in the same vein as Crash Team Racing. The game may have originated from the Bloodborne Kart joke fans would make when awaiting any news about a new installment, but its appeal was very real. Playing as Eileen the Crow on the motorcycle she should have had in the original game or Mergo wheeling around at 60 miles an hour in a baby carriage would’ve been a treat for fans of Bloodborne and kart racers alike.

Unfortunately, it was not to last. In January, Walther revealed Sony had contacted her personally to request the removal of all Bloodborne IP elements from the game, requiring extensive retooling and the creation of dozens of new assets. While the exact details of the exchange are known only to Walther and the Sony representative that reached out, including whether it was a formal cease and desist notice, the end result was the same. To add insult to injury, this final hurdle came when Bloodborne Kart was mere inches from the finish line, having been slated for a release later that month—which obviously wasn’t happening anymore. At least there’s still Minecraft Bloodborne.

Walther went dark for the next several months, reworking the game to remove the branding, and it’s only today that the fruit of her labors has come to light.

Bloodborne Kart has been re-revealed as Nightmare Kart, a legally-distinct version featuring such original characters as the Hunter (no, not that one) and Birdcage Head Guy. The Gothic vibes and cheesy over-the-top 90s-ness of the initial version are still very much there, and if you squint, it’s still recognizable as Bloodborne—but apparently not enough to be actionable.

Nightmare Kart, everyone’s favorite Legally Distinct Bodily Fluid Racer, also received a new launch date to go with its makeover. It’ll be out for free at the end of May—and judging from how Sony treats Bloodborne, it might just be the most new Bloodborne content we’re going to get in quite a while.

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