Arcen Games are primarily known for making interesting (and ugly) strategy games, but last Wednesday, August 24th, the small team released 3D dino-vs.-robots action game In Case Of Emergency, Release Raptor into early access. Then on Saturday, August 27th, they announced they were unreleasing it. Now as of today the game is no longer on sale and refunds are available for those who already purchased it through Steam.
A new announcement from earlier this morning explained more details of what’s happening. The game is going to continue to be available through Steam but completely free, though it looks as if there’s currently no way to download or install the game. Arcen had originally planned to refund everyone who had bought it during its few days on sale, but now you’ll need to go through the normal Steam refund process. Refunds are however available to anyone, regardless of how long you’ve played it for.
Arcen founder Chris Park explained in the initial announcement that the game was being pulled essentially due to a lack of sales: “The game is selling extremely poorly, even below what happened with Starward Rogue.” The rest of the post then goes on to posit possible reasons for that, from people dismissing it as a Goat Simulator-style joke game, to Arcen’s audience only wanting strategy games from them, to Steam now being overcrowded “with something approaching the App Store effect that we’ve seen on Apple devices.”
The company still like the idea of the game and hope to one day make a sequel which would include the features once intended for this game, but there are currently no plans to pursue that. Instead Park says that Arcen will turn their attention to something they’re more certain their fans want, a sequel to the large-scale space strategy game that first made their name, AI War. AI War 2: Rise from Ashes, as its currently called, will be a Kickstarter project, to raise funds and better gauge interest before committing months of work to the project.
This isn’t the first time that Arcen have run into bother with the development of their games due to low sales. Back in January the company laid off much of their staff due to low sales of bullet hell roguelite Starward Rogue and the long development of still-unreleased scifi 4X Stars Beyond Reach and as far back as 2010 the company was on the verge of bankruptcy after low sales of a previous game, Tidalis.