Resogun and Alienation Dev Housemarque Plans to “Move on to New Genres;” “We’ve Been Carrying the Torch for Arcade”

Housemarque plans to step away from the arcade genre and explore new territories.

Finland-based studio Housemarque set the benchmark for future arcade and shoot-em-up games and managed to establish themselves as one of the best developers for the arcade genre. The accomplishment came as a result of releasing several high-quality and well-polished video games that re-defined the genre, including Resogun, Alienation and more recently, Matterfall and Nex Machina.

However, Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen released a letter detailing the studio’s position. The studio wants to step away from the arcade genre and explore the studio’s capabilities in developing games in other genres. According to Kuittien’s statement, one of the main reasons for the decision was the “lackluster sales of Nex Machina,” which made the studio reconsider their “longstanding commitment” to the arcade genre.

For more than 20 years we’ve been carrying the torch for arcade, bringing arcade coin-op inspired games to the market with a Housemarque twist, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve gotten pretty good at it by now! Our games have received great critical reception over the years, perhaps the best example being Nex Machina, which we published in June to great critical acclaim, garnering a Metacritic score of 88. Nex Machina was a dream project, as we got to work with our hero and arcade gaming legend Eugene Jarvis, who is responsible for some of the most revered arcade games of all time such as Defender, Robotron 2084 and Smash TV. He has had a tremendous impact on our games, including Resogun and Dead Nation.

However despite critical success and numerous awards, our games just haven’t sold in significant numbers. While some of them have reached a massive audience due to free game offerings across various digital sales channels, this unfortunately doesn’t help pay for development, which gets costly for high production quality. We are extremely grateful to our fans and partners, who have enabled us to work on awesome games like Super Stardust HD and Outland. For your unfailing love and support we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

But now it’s time to move on to new genres. Lackluster sales of Nex Machina have led us to the thinking that it is time to bring our longstanding commitment to the arcade genre to an end. While this genre will always hold a special place in our hearts, the industry is moving more toward multiplayer experiences with strong, robust communities, and it’s time for Housemarque to move forward with the industry. Hence Nex Machina and Matterfall will be the last of their kind coming out of our studio. Our purpose as a company remains the same, however – to create enjoyable and memorable gaming experiences for players while simultaneously creating a great workplace that allows people to flourish both professionally and personally.

Which genre do you want Housemarque to explore next?