I will start with a bold statement: today is an historic day in the videogames industry. It might not be perceived as such by many, of course, and even those who would acknowledge the fact as true would not be rushing to include it in the headlines, but the truth is that an independent studio just did something unprecedented.
MercurySteam has rebranded their independent title, Raiders of the Broken Planet as Spacelords, offered it to all players as a free-to-play game, and added 25% more content on top of it all.
Almost a year ago, MercurySteam embarked on a very special project. After years of working in the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series — arguably, one of the most successful revivals of a classic franchise — our studio launched Raiders of the Broken Planet, our first self-financed game.
We thought our offering would appeal to a wide audience for several reasons. It was an adventure in shooter form, offered innovative game mechanics, unique 4 vs 1 gameplay, included memorable characters, a disruptive art direction, episodic content at a fair price, and two missions offered totally for free. We were only half right.
Sure, the game’s appeal was there, and over 3 million people gave it a go, but the business model didn’t quite take among the gamers. The most repeated criticism we received was, “This game should be free to play.”
That’s not the only feedback we received to help us shape the future of the game. You might be surprised to read that Raiders of the Broken Planet has reunited an incredibly loyal community that plays the game every day. We have been in contact with them since launch through our social media channels and Discord, and all the changes Spacelords packs are a direct consequence of what they have told us they expected from the game.
Spacelords is out now, and thousands of new players are trying it for the first time as I write these lines. Give it a try — it’s free after all — and let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook channels. Thanks for reading and see you on the Broken Planet!