The future of the Trine series has been thrown into question following some negative feedback on Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power.
The title recently came out of Steam Early Access, but some players have criticised the game for being too short. Frozenbyte VP Joel Kinnunen claims the average playthrough lasts around six to seven hours, though says the team is aware some players have completed it in less than four to five hours.
He apologised for the title’s perceived shortcomings. He explained that in 2012, following the release of Trine 2, the studio made the decision to release a full 3D entry in the series that was "bigger, badder, better".
This resulted in development costs ending up at almost triple that of its predecessor, at more than $5.4m.
The studio had planned to put more levels into Trine 3, but this would have taken the budget up to around $15m. The developer didn’t realise this until it was already deep into development, however.
"We did not intentionally make the game ‘short’ as many have said in order to make money off of future DLC or whatever," read a statement from Kinnunen.
"We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible. What we sold on Early Access was the ‘realistic’ vision and what we promised is what we have delivered, in our opinion. 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. We’re aware that some players have completed the game in less than that, 4-5 hours for example, and we accept that.
"I’m sure you can speedrun it much faster too, but so you could in previous Trine games and in most other games too. As for the cliffhanger ending and DLC – 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."