A Valley Without Wind studio Arcen Games has halted development on its latest game and pulled the title from Steam after it failed to hit sales expectations.
The decision came less than a week after In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor first hit the platform’s Early Access service.
Revealing that he would refund all players of the game, which has since been re-launched as a free-to-play release, Arcen founder Chris Park bluntly stated in a blog announcement that: “The game is selling extremely poorly, even below what happened with Starward Rogue.”
Park said that though the game would mean a loss for the studio, its launch on Early Access had been meant “partly as a market survey of sorts”.
“I felt like that would be a way of determining how big this game could get,” he explained. “With Starward Rogue, and indeed some of our other past commercial failures, we put in everything and the kitchen sink and then there wasn’t a market there.”
Despite this, he continued: “I never expected that one option even on the table with this one would be ‘actually don’t do it at all,’ because the premise is incredibly exciting to me and seemed like something other people would also be very interested in. But just from the concept alone, we have a lot of pushback from press; and despite some quite positive coverage from some reasonably biggish YouTubers, that isn’t moving the needle at all.
“We don’t need Release Raptor to be our sole source of income, or even our largest one. However, if it’s going to be our largest expense it also has to vaguely earn its keep or at least show the promise that it will someday do so. That’s what is missing here.”
Park lamented that his experience with Release Raptor was symbolic of the challenging PC games market, and expressed his desire to “make games where you shoot things, and games where you’re a raptor, and all sorts of other things”.
“I have varied interests and tastes, and I don’t want to do one thing for the rest of my life,” he added.
“That said, given the choice between leaving the industry and making strategy games, the choice there is freaking obvious. I absolutely love making games, despite the many negative sides to it. So that’s what we’ll do: we’ll make you another strategy game.”