The team behind the arcade-flavoured fan favourites Resogun, Nex Machina, and Alienation has announced that it is shifting its focus to new genres and experiences.
In a candid letter addressed to the fans, Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen explained that the decision was motivated by poor sales for many of the team’s games, despite “reach[ing] a massive audience due to free game offerings across various digital sales channels.” Another contributing factor is the gulf between the critical and commercial reception of the studio’s projects, with many scoring Metacritic averages near or above 80, which has not been reflected through sales success.
While Kuittinen did not explicitly state the genre of the team’s upcoming project, he stated that “Nex Machina and Matterfall will be the last of their kind coming out of” Housemarque, but that the studio would retain the model of “gameplay first with first-class execution.” Unfortunately, his comments also suggest that the next game will have a focus on multiplayer, rather than following in the the single-player-oriented footsteps of previous games: “The industry is moving more toward multiplayer experiences with strong, robust communities, and it’s time for Housemarque to move forward with the industry”
Perhaps best known for the Super Stardust series and Resogun, Housemarque has focused on arcade-style experiences since its founding more than 20 years ago, meaning that today’s announcement marks a notable philosophical shift within the studio.
So far in 2017, the team released the “dream project” Nex Machina, a high-octane twin-stick shooter, and Matterfall, a side-scrolling action game.