Studio Frozenbyte has said that criticism of its recent release Trine 3 may mean that it ditches any further development of the series.
Trine 3 was released last week but has been stung by a string of scathing Steam under reviews, mostly due to its length (said to be around five hours), which many believe does not reflect its 15.99 price point.
Most of the accusations revolve around the belief that content has been held back for future DLC – a claim not helped by the game's cliffhanger ending.
Frozenbyte's vice president Joel Kinnunen, however, says that this simply isn't the case.
The truth, he says, is that with a development budget of some $5.4m (which is three times the budget of Trine 2) his team's ambitions simply got the better of them. Delivering on their original vision would have seen developments costs spiral to around $15m, meaning the project had to be curtailed and released in a more limited state.
I will say that we are proud of the game and what we have achieved overall. We think it's a fun game and we don't think it's too expensive either considering all the elements we have been able to put into the game,” he said in a Steam update.
However, our view is perhaps skewed, and we are now realizing that we have been looking at this perhaps from a different perspective and that many players do not accept that. We still think the game is good but the cliffhanger story and the relative shortness of the game are valid criticisms but ones which we didn't realize would cause a disappointment in this scale.
We did not intentionally make the game ‘short' as many have said in order to make money off of future DLC or whatever. We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible. The finished Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power game might not be as long as we hoped initially, but something we are very proud of nonetheless, and generally around 6-7 hours is what we think new players will spend with the game on average.
There are no plans for a DLC. Continuation of the story is a different matter however, but we have released everything we had and everything we aimed to release since the beginning of the Early Access. The future of the series is now in question, as the feedback, user reviews and poor media attention has caught us by surprise. Right now we need a breather to bounce back from all this.”