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Housemarque says it’s leaving arcade-style games behind

“Arcade is dead,” studio proclaims

Nex Machina
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Housemarque, the Finnish studio best known for explosive action games like Super Stardust, Resogun and Nex Machina, says it’s no longer developing that style of arcade-inspired game. While the developer has received critical acclaim for its work, Housemarque said, too many of its arcade-style games haven’t achieved commercial success.

In a blog post titled “Arcade is dead,” Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen cited underwhelming sales of Nex Machina as one of the reasons for the studio’s transition away from arcade games. It’s time for “to move forward” with the rest of the industry, Kuittinen said.

Despite positive reception for Nex Machina, which was developed in collaboration with Robotron 2084 and Smash TV creator Eugene Jarvis, the game simply didn’t sell well enough, Kuittinen said.

“[D]espite critical success and numerous awards, our games just haven’t sold in significant numbers,” Kuittinen said. “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.”

Kuittinen said that Housemarque is currently “exploring something totally different than what you might expect of us, but we believe this will lead to the creation of even more engaging gaming experiences.”

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