Helsinki-based game maker Housemarque has put its forthcoming battle royale title Stormdivers on hold for the time being.
In a post on the Finnish firm's website, CEO Ilari Kuittinen (pictured) said that the company is putting all of its efforts into another unannounced project that the developer as in the works. The chief exec says that 80 people are now working on this title and that it is the studio's "most ambitious and biggest game to date."
Stormdivers was announced during 2018 and seemed like a strange decision. Housemarque's previous release, Nex Machina, was set to be its biggest and most successful to date. The reality was wildly different, with the game failing to meet its commercial expectations despite a strong critical response. The company announced it was moving away from arcade games, its bread and butter, at the end of 2017.
Stormdivers would have been entering into a saturated battle royale market dominated by big players such as Epic's Fortnite and Apex Legends from EA and Respawn, which launched 12 months ago. As such, it would be hard to nail a hit in that kind of market.
Speaking in 2019, Kuittinen admitted that success for Stormdivers was "unlikely," while publishing chief Mikael Haveri described the game as Housemarque's biggest risk yet.
"In closing, Housemarque is very excited to celebrate our 25th Anniversary this summer, and we are confident that we will pleasantly surprise our fans with the new game," Kuittinen wrote.
"We are eagerly awaiting the day we can announce it. At the same time, it is always nerve-wracking to anticipate what your reaction will be when we do finally complete development and the game is out for everyone to enjoy. We've never delivered anything at this scale before. The time is drawing ever closer when our publishing partner will reveal what we are working on, with the launch coming after that."