In a new blog post entitled ‘Jumping on the Bandwagon: From "Arcade is Dead" to AAA’, Housemarque founder and CEO Ilari Kuittinen said that instead of shutting down, the studio has "made the jump to triple-A development".
"Instead of shutting down we have made the jump to triple-A development and are working on a new, unannounced IP," the post said. "This is the biggest and most ambitious game that Housemarque has ever worked on. Our team is approaching 70 people now, and we are still staffing up for the new project. But our commitment to keeping the spirit of arcade alive is stronger than ever, despite no longer working on straight arcade-inspired titles."
"A couple of years ago the future of the company did look uncertain," Kuittinen acknowledged. "It looked like we should either scale down our development efforts significantly, letting go of great team members, or start thinking much bigger and ambitiously to survive beyond 2017. We had to make some difficult decisions and some serious changes or Housemarque would not be around for long. We wanted to continue making great games but first, we had to survive."
That survival came via plans for "new, more ambitious concepts" but it took time for the team to scale up, especially as it was splitting its resources across two games simultaneously, the new IP and Stormdivers.
"We started working on new, creative concepts to present to potential partners and eventually, we landed a great opportunity to start working on pre-production for a new, unannounced triple-A IP last year. At the same time, we truly started to rethink our company culture. What is really needed to build up AAA game development capabilities, and how should we approach our overall development process and the future of the company."
"By the time we made our “Arcade is Dead” announcement, Housemarque’s change in direction had already been on its way for quite a while, as we could no longer sustain the company on our beloved arcade genres. Arcade is indeed dead for Housemarque, but we salute and applaud the developers out there who are keeping the genre alive with great new arcade experiences."