Arcen Games

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Arcen Games
LLC
IndustryVideo games
Founded2009
HeadquartersUnited States
Key people
Chris McElligott Park, Pablo Vega, Keith LaMothe, Daniette Shinkle
ProductsAI War: Fleet Command
Tidalis
A Valley Without Wind 1&2
Shattered Haven
Skyward Collapse
Bionic Dues
The Last Federation
Stars Beyond Reach
Starward Rogue
In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor
AI War 2
Number of employees
1 (2019)[1] 3 (2016)[2][3] 6 (2015)[4] 2 (2009)[5]
Websitewww.arcengames.com

Arcen Games is a small video game company founded in 2009 by Chris McElligott Park, known as Christopher M. Park prior to remarriage in 2020.[6] The company launched their first product, AI War: Fleet Command, in mid 2009 for Windows PCs.[7]

The company became one of the early notable examples of heavy procedural generation in almost all their games.[8] They are also known for taking unusual gameplay ideas in an idiosyncratic range of genres,[9] and exploring to the extreme ends of each idea.[10] Most of Arcen's titles include some form of overarching goals with a lot of freedom as to how the player goes about reaching said goals.[11] The company founder has a stated aversion to being stuck into any one genre.[12]

Arcen Games is best known for its real time strategy game AI War: Fleet Command,[13] which had six DLC expansions released between 2010 to 2014.[14] Arcen released the puzzle game Tidalis in July 2010,[15][16] 2D side scrolling game A Valley Without Wind in April 2012,[17], its divergent sequel A Valley Without Wind 2 in February 2013,[18] environmental puzzle game Shattered Haven in March 2013,[19], turn-based god game Skyward Collapse in May 2013[20] with an expansion called Nihon no Mura later that year,[21] and tactical mech game Bionic Dues in October 2013.[22]

In April 2014, Arcen released The Last Federation, a space-themed strategy/simulation game.[23][24][25] This title did well enough to get two expansions by the end of 2015.[26] The Last Federation put the company in a "relatively cash-rich position," after which a major project by the name of Stars Beyond Reach was undertaken.[27] In October 2016, after an 18-month development cycle with the company's largest-yet team of staff and contractors, and with funds dwindling as long-term sales from other titles tapered, Stars Beyond Reach was put on indefinite hold.[28].

Arcen then rapidly developed and released the SHMUP roguelite Starward Rogue for January 2016,[29] but the title was a commercial failure that led to the layoff of all but three of their staff.[30]. In August 2016, they released and then pulled from sale a 3D dino-vs-robots game, In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor due to overwhelmingly poor sales.[31] In January 2018, a mostly-independent group of former contractors dubbed the "Extended Team"[32] finished their work on a "labor of love" expansion for Starward Rogue, which was also well-received without generating much income.[33]

After one failed kickstarter in late 2016, a followup successful kickstarter the next month,[34] and then an extended period of early access starting in October 2018,[35] Arcen Games released AI War 2 in October 2019[36] to positive reviews.[37] The first expansion for AI War 2 was released in February 2020.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Honaker, Rob (November 14, 2019). "Chris Park of Arcen Games Interview". eXplorminate. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  2. ^ Wawro, Alex (January 28, 2016). "Arcen to lay off 'almost all' staff after poor sales of its latest game". Gamasutra. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  3. ^ "Sad news for Arcen Games now laying off most of their staff". Linux Game Consortium. January 29, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  4. ^ O'Connor, Alice (April 8, 2015). "Have A Gander At Arcen's Space 4X Stars Beyond Reach". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  5. ^ Hillier, Brenna (August 4, 2012). "Living the Dream: Arcen Games and the Indie Recipe, Pt 1". vg247. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  6. ^ "v2.012 Released! "Populous"". March 26, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Love, Jason (2009). "Interview with Christopher Park - AI War Lead Designer". Co-Optimus. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Sigl, Rainer (2012). ""The Process"-Footnotes: An interview with Chris Park of Arcen Games". Video Game Tourism. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Pearson, Craig (April 12, 2014). "Win The Space Race: The Last Federation's Out Soon". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  10. ^ Parker, Rob (February 17, 2016). "First Person Podcast Interviews Chris Park". First Person Scholar. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Ellison II, Scott (April 25, 2014). "The Last Federation Review". Saving Content. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Cameron, Phill (February 8, 2011). "Arcen Games Talk A Valley Without Wind". Kotaku. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Chick, Tom (August 13, 2009). "Rush, Boom, Turtle: And Now for Something Completely Different". Crispy Gamer. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  14. ^ Smith, Adam (August 8, 2014). "Downloadable Cunning: AI War - Destroyer Of Worlds". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Rick, Christophor. "Tidalis Review (PC, Mac)". Gamers Daily News. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  16. ^ Reed, Kristan (August 13, 2010). "Download Games Roundup". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  17. ^ Cox, Kate (April 25, 2012). "A Valley Without Wind Still Managed to Blow Me Away". Kotaku. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  18. ^ Chick, Tom (February 19, 2013). "Valley Without Wind 2 transformed by the winds of change". Quarter To Three. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  19. ^ Porter, Matt (March 25, 2013). "Shattered Haven Review - Danger lurks everywhere". Hooked Gamers. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  20. ^ Savillo, Rob (May 29, 2013). "Skyward Collapse truly reinvents the god game (review)". VentureBeat. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  21. ^ Savage, Phil (August 9, 2013). "Skyward Collapse to get first expansion, Nihon no Mura". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  22. ^ Tamburro, Paul (October 10, 2013). "Bionic Dues Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  23. ^ Bain, John (Apr 21, 2014). "WTF Is... - The Last Federation?". TotalBiscuit. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Bain, John (June 3, 2014). "The Co-Optional Podcast Animated: The Biscuit Federation Pt. 1". This is Polaris. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  25. ^ Bain, John (June 17, 2014). "The Co-Optional Podcast Animated: Biscuit Federation Pt. 2". This is Polaris. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  26. ^ Wulf, Happy (December 9, 2015). "Review: The Last Federation 3.0 + The Lost Technologies DLC". Game Revolution. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  27. ^ Varfalvy, Edward (June 18, 2015). "Stars Beyond Reach – Interview with Arcen Games". Space Sector. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  28. ^ Grant, James (January 29, 2016). "Arcen Games cuts staff following sales slump". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  29. ^ Cunningham, James (February 15, 2016). "Review: Starward Rogue". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  30. ^ Chalk, Andy (January 29, 2016). "Arcen lays off nearly all staff despite successful Starward Rogue launch". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  31. ^ Smith, Graham (August 30, 2016). "In Case Of Emergency, Release Raptor Pulled From Sale". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  32. ^ Tarason, Dominic (January 28, 2018). "Starward Rogue's Augmented expansion buffs up the shmuppy roguelike". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  33. ^ Barnhart, M. Charles (January 25, 2018). "Starward Rogue AuGMENTED Review – A Roguelite to Really RogueLIKE". BagoGames. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  34. ^ O'Connor, Alice (December 20, 2016). "AI War 2 aims for Oct 2017 after Kickstarter success". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  35. ^ Haselden, Stephen (October 18, 2018). "AI War 2 Early Access Release and Why Arcen Are a Model Indie Dev". PixelJudge. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  36. ^ Williams, Alexander (2019-10-22). "AI WAR 2 REVIEW". Strategy Gamer. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  37. ^ "AI War 2 For PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  38. ^ Williams, Alexander (March 11, 2020). "AI War 2: The Spire Rises Review". StrategyGamer. Retrieved April 17, 2020.

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