Mismanaged budgets could spell the end
Trine 3 was a massive departure for Frozenbyte’s puzzle-platformer series. Not only was it the first game in the series to go through early access, it also made the dangerous jump from 2D to 3D.
Unfortunately, these changes didn’t seem to pay off. Players criticised the game’s shorter length (some claim it can be beaten in roughly four hours), the cliffhanger ending, and a perceived simplification of the previous games’ mechanics just for the sake of the 3D platforming.
There have been accusations from the playerbase that the game was made intentionally short to sell DLC, or that the final released game isn’t the full scope of what was intended during early access.
All of this criticism has, according to Frozenbyte, put the future of Trine into question. In a big post on the Steam Community, they claim the budget for the game was nearly triple Trine 2’s, and even then the budget simply wasn’t big enough to make the game they wanted:
“Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has ended up costing nearly triple that of Trine 2 – over 5.4 million USD. We have squeezed everything we could into the game, there’s nothing left on the table. We initially had a much longer story written and more levels planned, but to create what we envisioned, it would have taken at least triple the money, probably up to 15 million USD, which we didn’t realize until too late, and which we didn’t have…
…As for the cliffhanger ending and DLC – there are no plans for a DLC. Continuation of the story is a different matter however, but we have released everything we had and everything we aimed to release since the beginning of the Early Access. The future of the series is now in question, as the feedback, user reviews and poor media attention has caught us by surprise.”
It’s a shame, because the Trine games are absolutely beautiful, and to see that series die due to one poorly managed game would be a shame.
Maybe they should just play to their strengths and go back to 2D for Trine 4 if they’re ever able to do so?