Housemarque’s Battle Royale Stormdivers ‘should be free to play’, probably ‘won’t succeed’

Housemarque Stormdivers free

Housemarque is in a bit of a pickle. The master of arcade shooters saw its hand forced due to lackluster sales and is now trying to go where the money is. They're not selling out, just trying to keep afloat; otherwise, the future of the studio could be uncertain.

It is uncertain, to be honest, given the recent statements.

Stormdivers is Housemarque's take on the Battle Royale genre. Announced in April 2018, development on this game started in 2016, before PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale showed up. Now, the Finnish studio is facing an adverse situation that was only made worse by the sudden appearance of a new contender: Respawn's Apex Legends.

In a chat with VG247 at the latest Reboot Develop, Housemarque's CEO Ilari Kuittinen doesn't seem too confident in Stormdivers' success. He even admits that the studio is kind of short on money to realize the vision that they had for the launch edition. It's also clear that other studios beat Housemarque to the punch, and this sentence perfectly describes the state of mind going on: “Whether we’re going to succeed, it’s unlikely because of the tough competition.”

As for Stormdivers' business model, it was originally thought to be a premium game but “now it should be free to play.” This isn't an official announcement, but it's likely the revelation of the path to go.

Stormdivers usually opens up for testing every 4-6 weeks and I've participated in one of those sessions. While a Battle Royale at heart, it has a few nice twists such as environmental hazards, including impressive huge tornadoes. It also includes PvE elements, but those weren't significant during the beta. It's a competent, by-the-numbers game that just took too long to develop and ultimately that can be its downfall.

The interview goes on to mention that Housemarque has a second game in development, “the biggest game we’ve ever made.” While Stormdivers has a team of 15 developers, the second project has 60 staff working on it.

I'm curious to see just how this whole Stormdivers thing will pan out, but I'm hoping that Housemarque gets a hit anytime soon, or things can get very complicated for this acclaimed studio.


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