As the undead rabbit prince of Hell, players will jump, jet, drill, and shoot their way through ten huge, varied locales on a mission to take revenge against the inhabitants of the underworld that saw Ash’s illicit photos on the Helternet. There’s only one way to ensure no one ever laughs at Ash again, and that solution is over-the-top, comically-gory levels of hellion on hellion violence!
French developer Arkedo has issued a statement revealing that it no longer has any employees and is technically closed.
Hello everyone, here is Aurelien from Arkedo Studio speaking. I’m the creative director of the games we did since Arkedo started. Camille (the real big boss of the company) and I receive a lot of messages asking us about the actual situation of Arkedo, and what are our plans next.
Arkedo stops after 7 years of super great moments, but the situation is subtle, and generally few people take the time to understand. Before we get into quick news posts like “Bankrupt! Shutting down! Apocalypse!”, let’s take the time to explain things calmly.
Arkedo, the company, is still here. But no one’s employed anymore. No more games are produced either.
That’s the subtlety of the situation: Arkedo hasn’t closed down and is not bankrupt, going into administration or whatever big word, as it is managed properly. It is interesting for the structure to still be here as after HellYeah!, we’ve made two small games which are finished but you’re not aware of them yet. We hope to release them soon and it should be fine on this side.
► THE DETAILED WHY
There are three main reasons as why Arkedo stops. If this of any interest to you, please take the time to consider the three reasons as a whole and not separately.
First and most obvious one. Nowadays need a very careful financial management. As a consequence, one always has to jump from one project to another without a rest and with a very small team.
But our team has grown throughout the years and we didn’t have any secured project on sight after HY. We first produced two new little games, self funded, by splitting the team into two mini autonomous teams. But before running out of money, we had to do something.
Arkedo has been, and will always be, an honest company, managed with generous and human values. One may consider this either silly, or nice.
So, it has been decided to disband the team when there still was enough money to get good conditions for everyone, rather than replace permanent positions with interns and a bad atmosphere. As in any human matter, it is important to know when to stop, to get a clean situation. It is precisely because we did this at this time that everyone from Arkedo is still having a good time together, even after it's officially over.
♦ POST HELLYEAH ! ERA
If you had the courage to read my post mortem (LINK) on HY!, you won’t learn much by telling you that this project was a little too big for us.
Big picture is, the game has a lot of things we love, but also things we regret. Because we didn’t have enough time, or experience, and we reached our limits. It’s no big deal, but one needs to learn something out of it.
The studio wanted to make smaller games again, on a more manageable scale, without a huge publisher behind you (even though our relation with Sega is still excellent), or any management needs.
But this small games willing is not really compatible with a middle size company structure. Right now, it is better to be small in order to take risks, and we weren’t anymore as we used to be when we did Nervous Brickdown, which was 7 years ago already.
♦ WHAT ONE WANT
Adding to these: the two co-founders projects of Camille and I.
When we decided together to put everything on hold, Camille was fully involved on his publishing project, already looking ahead. That doesn’t mean he wanted to leave Arkedo on the side of the road.
On my side, I already told the team my willing to start my own mini-studio within the next few years. It wasn’t planned for a short term, but I had it in mind.
Knowing that our long-term objectives would both drive us away from Arkedo, it didn’t make sense to take financial risks again. Within a less hostile economical context, Arkedo would probably still be here, but this context just “speed-uped” the end of the studio by a couple of years.
► WHAT’S NEXT ?
- Camille will tell you better about his projects. There has been a serious, deadly problem to the publishing project in december and I will let him update you on this as I don’t want to write anything false. What is for sure is that we still see one each other and will often do in the future, all with great pleasure and for a long time.
- In order to end this far-too-long note, on my side, after a small period of time to get over the situation, I’m now fulfilling an old fantasy: to produce a game from scratch to the end: code, sounds and design. I don’t know yet if the result will deserve your attention, or if I could make a living out of it once done but it is looking good and it’s making me very happy.
If anyone read the whole thing, first, bravo. And mostly, guessing that you read this by curiosity for us, we hug/thank you very sincerely by finishing with this: Arkedo’s members are fine, most haven’t stopped the pixels and will show you new things with their own manners. In this kind of case, we say “See ya” rather than “Farewell”, right?
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