In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor shadowy screenshot

Arcen Games, the folks behind AI War and Starward Rogue, simply cannot catch a break these days. Back in January they were forced to lay off a good portion of their studio after the roguelike SHMUP Starward Rogue ended up selling an abysmall amount of copies despite good reviews, and sadly it appears that history is repeating itself.

According to a recent blog post, Arcen's latest game "In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor" has been met with an entirely underwhelming amount of sales and as such is being pulled entirely from Steam's Early Access program. Everyone who purchased Raptor is now eligible for a full refund, while the game itself is being given away free-of-charge in an attempt to test the waters and see if people like the idea of going on a raptor-fueled rampage.

Instead of simply summarizing the whole story for you, however, allow me to instead quote Arcen's CEO Chris Park as he does a rather good job of explaining the whole situation:

"In a Nutshell, What’s Up?

I’m going to give all the customers of In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor a full refund and let them keep the game, then take the game off sale.  The game is selling extremely poorly, even below what happened with Starward Rogue.

Isn’t Part of Early Access - Don’t Make a Game You Rely on EA Sales For?

Yes, this is very true.  However, I stated upfront that our reason for doing EA with this game was partly as a market survey of sorts.  I felt like that would be a way of determining how big this game could get.  With Starward Rogue, and indeed some of our other past commercial failures, we put in everything and the kitchen sink and then there wasn’t a market there.

I never expected that one option even on the table with this one would be “actually don’t do it at all,” because the premise is incredibly exciting to me and seemed like something other people would also be very interested in.  But just from the concept alone, we have a lot of pushback from press; and despite some quite positive coverage from some reasonably biggish youtubers, that isn’t moving the needle at all.

We don’t need Release Raptor to be our sole source of income, or even our largest one.  However, if it’s going to be our largest expense it also has to vaguely earn its keep or at least show the promise that it will someday do so.  That’s what is missing here."

While all of this does paint a rather dire picture for Arcen, there is a bit of hope on the horizon. According to above mentioned blog post, the team is currently working on a fully-fledged follow up to AI War, a game that continues to be their bestseller even years after release. It will most likely need to be funded through Kickstarter or Early Access for obvious reasons, but at the very least the long-awaited sequel to AI War seems to be on its way.

If you would like to give In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor a try, its now available as a free-to-play game on Steam. Whether its any good or not, I'm afraid I don't know, but it might be worth giving it a try purely based on the name alone. Who doesn't love raptors!?

In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor screenshot

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