In some rather sad news today, Arkedo Studio’s Creative Director, Aurelien Regard over on his personal blog, Aurelien Regard’s Game Making Blog , has announced that Arkedo is ‘stopping.’ However, he says that the situation is actually quite subtle, and is wary of people misunderstanding what has actually happened.
The first thing to note is that Arkedo as a company still technically exists-the thing is, nobody is employed there any more, and no games are currently being made, effectively meaning the company is indeed defunct. He goes on to say in the post that “That’s the subtlety of the situation: Arkedo hasn’t closed down and is not bankrupt, going into administration or whatever big word, as it is managed properly.”
He also went on to give three primary reasons for the effective demise of Arkedo. Firstly, two self-funded, small games were in development. However, the team was beginning to run out of money, and as such it was decided to disband the team before the situation became too dire, so that employees would not have to work in a sub-par atmosphere due to the lack of said money. Aurelien says this can be interpreted as being “either silly, or nice.”
Secondly, he states last year’s Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit pushed the company to it’s limits, and that “the studio wanted to make smaller games again, on a more manageable scale, without a huge publisher behind you” (though he notes that “our relation with Sega is still excellent”) only to find due to how they’d grown whilst making Hell Yeah!, the making smaller games “was not really compatible” with the studio any more.
Finally, he notes that he and Camille, the main head of the company, had further ambitions, with Aurelien himself planning to start a small mini-studio of his own within the next few years. He and Camille knew their “long-term objectives would both drive us away from Arkedo,” and Aurelien also cited that “it didn’t make sense to take financial risks again,” as he claimed Arkedo did when they operated on a smaller scale. He states, however, “Within a less hostile economical context, Arkedo would probably still be here, but this context just “speed-uped” the end of the studio by a couple of years.”
As for what is next, Aurelien claims Camille does have some projects lined up for the future, however he says that “There has been a serious, deadly problem to the publishing project in December and I will let him update you on this as I don’t want to write anything false.” He remains hopeful, however, that he and Camille will cross paths again in the future. Also, Aurelien has said that he plans to fulfil one of his longtime ambitions at some point in the future- “to produce a game from scratch to the end: code, sounds and design.”
He also states Arkedo’s former members are fine, and also have some possible projects lined up for the future.
He ends on the note that “In this kind of case, we say “See ya” rather than “Farewell”, right?”, and also states that the newly released smartphone game Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno was not developed by Arkedo, and as Pocket Inferno was being developed, Arkedo “were hardly finishing the PC/XBLA version of the game.”
It is quite sad to see Arkedo go, as Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit was one of my favourite games of 2012, and Arkedo had a wonderful charm to their games that I find most developers lack. Arkedo will be missed by many gamers, I’m sure.
See ya, Arkedo-thanks for the good times.