Nex Machina Developer Housemarque Declares the Arcade Genre is Dead.

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by cageymaru, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

    Apr 10, 2003
    Finnish software house Housemarque has announced that they have stopped making arcade style games. This is due to the lackluster sales of their titles in the last few years even though they have garnered numerous awards and 88/100 ratings. They even tried collaborating with Eugene Jarvis who created such seminal hits like Defender, Robotron 2084, and Smash TV.

    Personally I LOVE the arcade genre as I grew up chucking coins into the slots at arcades across America. When I was much younger, my little sister and I took shifts playing Defender on the Atari 2600 for 2 weeks straight. When we finally turned the machine off, it never started again. ;) I'd rather play an arcade game than many high dollar multiplayer experiences available today. I was hoping that Nex Machina sales on Steam would convince Housemarque to port the rest of their terrific games to the PC. I guess that dream is now dead like the arcade genre. A nerd can still hope though. I hope this doesn't spell the end of soundtracks like the bombastic gasoline fueled tracks on the official Nex Machina Deluxe Edition Soundtrack. That would be a travesty all on its own.

    Check out Nex Machina on Steam if you're an arcade aficionado like me. If you too love the genre also feel free to list some of your favorites in the thread.


    However despite critical success and numerous awards, our games just haven’t sold in significant numbers. 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.

    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.

    RanceJustice likes this.
  2. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

    Jun 9, 2003
    That's kind of a shame... but I have to admit, taking a look at it I see their number one problem and it isn't genre - its lack of online multiplayer. I can nearly guarantee that if the title had supported more than local multiplayer, they'd have many, many more sales. The genre isn't necessarily an issue but an "Arcade-y" simple and focused twin stick shooter (though I do see they're included some unlockables and whatnot, but it isn't like there's a lot of RPG/Adventure style classes/features/upgrades, procedural generation or rogue-lite elements etc) is something that is best experienced with others. Its also noteworthy that they seem to be somewhat banking on the "score-chaser" demographic, of players who want to consistently beat their own / others scores in this sort of title - and that's a small group of people. I see reviews talking about a lack of variety or the game being rather short etc.. so the amount of people who don't care about such a thing and will instead replay the same thing over and over seeking a better score is relatively small, if that's the case.

    However, I think the primary issue is the lack of online multiplayer. You see it time and time again with just about every genre that only provides local co-op - there are proportionally huge threads asking for online play in the forums for most of them. and many players are not willing to purchase a game best played with others without the online option. "Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime" and "Overcooked" are exceptional co-op experiences, but they're relegated to Local/couch Co-Op only - they've been successful indeed, but they'd be a lot more so playing online. These days, some users attend to work around like Nvidia Moonlight etc... to allow for local co-op over the net, but its success varies greatly and generally requires technical competence. The only genres I've seen that escape the "local only" curse are those that are nearly exclusively "party games" - but even many of these offer an online option .

    I hope the devs don't assume that it is purely the type of game isn't of interest or they have to make a "multiplayer focused" title. Offering co-op is not the same thing as making a multi-player focused title which these days can mean many things, many of them not so great in terms of both gameplay or monetization. They don't have to give up what they love to do to occupy a solid, profitable niche (look at all the bullethell titles out there! Visual novels! ), but they do have to make sure they have some of the core pieces together. Games like Gauntlet and SmashTV were always at their best when playing with others; give people the chance to do so both online and off and you'll get a lot, lot farther these days.

    Note - Oh and if you want a cooperative top down shooter (playable twin-stick on controllers, or kb/m) with some other elements online and off check out -

    This is the sequel to the free and open source Relic Hunters Zero ( which acts sort of as a demo of sorts - ) and its almost finished crowdfunding wave 1!
    cageymaru likes this.
  3. twonunpackmule

    twonunpackmule [H]ard|Gawd

    Sep 27, 2005
    I bought it the day it came out once I heard the Smash TV comparisons.
  4. Comixbooks

    Comixbooks Ignore Me

    Jun 7, 2008
    All of the good stuff was in the Arcade.