By Josh Speer / December 11th, 2015
I heard a bit of alarming news today. According to a tweet by Kevin Cassidy of GoNintendo, sales for recent releases of Renegade Kid games have been less that satisfactory. As a result, the talented 4 man team has decided to test the mobile game market with a new title called Totes the Goat. While I do wish for nothing but success from the team, since I’ve been a fan of Renegade Kid since they released Dementium: The Ward back in 2007, I am distressed by this news.
When interviewed by GoNintendo, Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid went into detail, saying that part of the problem were the sales for recently released games Moon Chronicles and Xeodrifter. I would venture a couple of reasons that this might have been the case. First off, let me start by saying that both games were great. Neither was broken or lacking in fun. But they did have aspects to them that might have limited the potential audience.
Let’s start with Moon Chronicles. Much as I enjoyed it, this game only really appealed to two audiences – fans of the original or those who never played the original, but wanted to support Renegade Kid. For both audiences, there was another unique draw to Moon Chronicles – namely, that Renegade Kid promised that if the game sold well enough, we would get additional chapters to extend the story past the original’s ending. Now, perhaps it didn’t sell quite well enough to merit additional chapters, but that promise of additional content is likely what drew many to the game. Suffice to say, we haven’t gotten them yet, and the game released back in 2014. Furthermore, the episodic nature of the release was so staggered and slow that it may have negatively contributed to reception. Gamers aren’t the most patient folks in the world, after all.
As for Xeodrifter, it was another great and fun game, but it had a significant design flaw – it was an incredibly short, overly linear Metroidvania. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t fun, because it was, but there was no real replay value, which is practically a cardinal sin for the genre. Making it worse was that the price of admission for such a short game was a bit high at $9.99. For that price, I typically expect at least more than 2-3 hours of gameplay.
Regardless of the reasons, I suppose I can understand and sympathize with Renegade Kid. After all, they are in the industry to make some money, and if they weren’t making enough to justify both of those releases, then it only makes sense to try something else. But I fervently hope this doesn’t spell the end of great Renegade Kid titles on portables and consoles. They’ve made a name for themselves as a talented indie developer, and it would be a shame to see them only make mobile games. Even if they make amazing mobile games, I think they would ultimately be dissatisfied by that very different market. They’ve proven they are bold and willing to try various genres, and I don’t think such a mindset would benefit the mobile market nearly as well. And while I may sound critical of them, it’s only cause I enjoy their games so much. They may not all be perfect, blockbuster hits, but they are all well made and worth playing. I can only hope they find a way to grab the attention of more gamers with their future releases.
dissatisfactionmobileMoon ChroniclesRenegade KidTotes the GoatXeodrifter