Tales of Kenzera™: ZAU, an Indie Game Built as an Ode to a Lost Father Through a Thrilling and Kinetic Adventure

In Memory of His Dad, Studio Founder Abubakar Salim Sets First Game in Bantu-Inspired Mystical Realm, Telling a Heartfelt Story About Finding Courage Within Oneself After Loss

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and Surgent Studios unveiled Tales of Kenzera™: ZAU,a heartfelt single-player action-adventure platformer that brings a new take on the experience of finding hope and courage after loss. Inspired by Surgent Studios founder and BAFTA-nominated actor Abubakar Salim’s own personal journey dealing with the loss of his father and their deep mutual bond of video games, Tales of Kenzera: ZAUcelebrates Abubakar’s father through a metroidvania style action-adventure platformer while showcasing how greatness comes from resilience.

“For a long time, I’ve struggled to find a way of communicating my journey with grief. To now be able to do that through Zau’s story of loss, growth and healing in Tales of Kenzera: ZAU feels so right,” said Abubakar Salim. “Games, to me, are the most powerful medium to share stories. My late father introduced me to the medium, and what better way of honoring him, our relationship and love than through this experience? I am extremely grateful and proud of the team of creatives that have helped craft Surgent Studios, and I’m beyond thrilled to have EA Originals give me the platform and space to share this story together with them.”

Published under the EA Originals label and developed by Surgent Studios – a transmedia production studio founded and led by Abubakar – Tales of Kenzera: ZAUinvites players to step into the shoes of Zau, a grieving hero on a mission to bring his beloved father back from the grasp of death. Guided by Kalunga, the God of Death, Zau makes his way through mystical 2.5D realms to harness the cosmic powers of the warrior shaman. Tales of Kenzera: ZAUinvites players to embark on a journey of spiritual healing, where the hardest moments unmask who they can truly become. The game will be released on April 23, 2024 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store and EA app.

“The EA Originals founding principle is to provide means and support to emerging game development talent, enabling creatives to bring their bold and visionary storytelling to a global gaming audience,” said Jeff Gamon, General Manager of EA Partners. “Our enthusiasm for Abu’s touching vision that draws from his family history and a millennium of Bantu mythology drove our support and belief in Surgent Studios from their start several years ago. The EA Originals team takes great pride in supporting Abu in sharing a truly unforgettable and poignant experience with the world.”

Unfolding in the beautiful, yet treacherous, lands of Kenzera, Tales of Kenzera: ZAUis inspired by Bantu tales, rich with untold lore of chaos and order, memories of ancient shamans, sacred spirits and fascinating creatures. Players can wield and expand cosmic powers from the Sun and Moon masks to defeat restless spirits in rhythmic combat; they can manipulate time and crystallize enemies using the Moon mask powers, or launch fiery spears with the Sun Mask – all in meticulously hand-crafted animations. Set to multi-award-winning composer Nainita Desai’s enchanting original score, Zau’s quest to become a worthy spiritual healer takes place across several unique and vibrant environments.

Tales of Kenzera: ZAUreleases on April 23, 2024 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store and EA app for $19.99 USD. Pre-orders are available now and include two shaman points unlocking up to two skills in-game, Kalunga’s Blessing visual effect variant, as well as Tales of Kenzera: ZAUdigital companion comic, Soulshifters, which dives deeper into the rich lore of Kenzera.*

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