Housemarque, well-respected game creators of arcade-action games like Resogun, sat down to an interview with Gamesindustry.biz and talked about their newest project, Stormdivers. Unlike the majority of Housemarque’s previous games, Stormdivers is a whole different type of game, set in the currently popular battle royale genre of multiplayer shooters.
Stormdivers marks a turning point for the Finnish game studio, not only as a forray into a new genre but as a general shift of the studio’s focus towards mainstream appeal, and out of the classic arcade-action niche. It wasn’t an easy decision for the studio and absolutely not due to a lack of trying.
In the 23-year company history, Housemarque established themselves as a much beloved developer which continuously delivers superb action games. Titles like Super Stardust, Resogun, Alienation and Nex Machina proved that blisteringly fast action games reminiscing of arcade titles of yesteryear can make the jump on modern gaming platforms and not feel dated. Housemarque’s games almost always were very well-received by critics and fans of the genre alike but it’s the numbers which forced the studio to rethink the direction of their games. Simply put, despite producing fun games of great quality, Housemarque couldn’t reach a large enough audience to sustain continuing with similar games.
Thus, this August Housemarque unveiled a new course for the studio with Stormdivers. A battle royale multiplayer game which plans to stand out in the crowded genre by the talented developer’s expertise in heart-pounding action gameplay. It was to be expected that fans of the studio and its previous games aren’t too thrilled with the new company directive. Battle royale games are a dime a dozen these days, and more and more new titles in the genre are being released or added as game modes on a monthly basis.
Mikael Haveri, Director of Self-Publishing at Housemarque admits that the studio was met with heavy negative reaction by its fanbase, which is also mirrored by Stormdivers’ Youtube videos garnering a majority of dislikes. Haveri and his colleagues expect this to continue but are hopeful that once players get to experience Housemarque’s special touch in the battle royale genre with Stormdivers, disappointment will give way appreciating a new kind of battle royale, full of adrenaline-packed action goodness, courtesy by Housemarque.