Arcen Games has been an incredibly prolific indie developer, but that prolificness hasn’t necessarily turned into widespread success. Even their biggest titles, like AI War: Fleet Command and A Valley Without Wind, aren’t exactly household names. Still, it’s more than a little surprising that their latest title was pulled from Steam just three days after its Early Access release.
In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor is far different from most of developer Arcen Games’ previous titles, trading in deeper strategic and role-playing systems for some goofier, acton-based dinosaur fun. It was available for purchase, but now that’s no longer the case, and all previous owners have been refunded.
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Why the sudden change? The game was selling poorly. Extremely poorly. ”We don't need Release Raptor to be our sole source of income, or even our largest one,” wrote the developer. “ However, if it's going to be our largest expense it also has to vaguely earn its keep or at least show the promise that it will someday do so. That's what is missing here.”
The studio’s previous title, Starward Rogue, had a full release and excellent word of mouth, but similarly faced major sales difficulties, prompting big layoffs. The saturation of the indie market, especially on Steam, is making it hard for even good games to get noticed.