The end of Arkedo Studios

23 Feb

end od arkedo studios

Yesterday Aurelien Regard, co-founder with Camille Guermonprez of Arkedo Studios, let the world know (with this blog post) that his company, known for the development of Hell Yeah!, has closed down. But let his words speak:

“Hello everyone, here is Aurelien from Arkedo Studio speaking. I’m the creative director of the games we did since Arkedo started. Camille (the real big boss of the company) and I receive a lot of messages asking us about the actual situation of Arkedo, and what are our plans next.

Arkedo stops after 7 years of super great moments, but the situation is subtle, and generally few people take the time to understand. Before we get into quick news posts like “Bankrupt! Shutting down! Apocalypse!”, let’s take the time to explain things calmly.

Arkedo, the company, is still here. But no one’s employed anymore. No more games are produced either.

That’s the subtlety of the situation: Arkedo hasn’t closed down and is not bankrupt, going into administration or whatever big word, as it is managed properly. It is interesting for the structure to still be here as after HellYeah!, we’ve made two small games which are finished but you’re not aware of them yet. We hope to release them soon and it should be fine on this side.

There are three main reasons as why Arkedo stops. If this of any interest to you, please take the time to consider the three reasons as a whole and not separately:

– MONEY: First and most obvious one. Nowadays need a very careful financial management. As a consequence, one always has to jump from one project to another without a rest and with a very small team. So, it has been decided to disband the team when there still was enough money to get good conditions for everyone, rather than replace permanent positions with interns and a bad atmosphere. As in any human matter, it is important to know when to stop, to get a clean situation. It is precisely because we did this at this time that everyone from Arkedo is still having a good time together, even after it’s officially over.

– POST HELL YEAH! ERA: You won’t learn much by telling you that this project was a little too big for us. Big picture is, the game has a lot of things we love, but also things we regret. Because we didn’t have enough time, or experience, and we reached our limits. It’s no big deal, but one needs to learn something out of it. The studio wanted to make smaller games again, on a more manageable scale, without a huge publisher behind you (even though our relation with Sega is still excellent), or any management needs. But this small games willing is not really compatible with a middle size company structure. Right now, it is better to be small in order to take risks, and we weren’t anymore as we used to be when we did Nervous Brickdown, which was 7 years ago already.

– WHAT ONE WANT: The two co-founders projects of Camille and I. When we decided together to put everything on hold, Camille was fully involved on his publishing project, already looking ahead. That doesn’t mean he wanted to leave Arkedo on the side of the road. On my side, I already told the team my willing to start my own mini-studio within the next few years. It wasn’t planned for a short term, but I had it in mind. Knowing that our long-term objectives would both drive us away from Arkedo, it didn’t make sense to take financial risks again. Within a less hostile economical context, Arkedo would probably still be here, but this context just “speed-uped” the end of the studio by a couple of years.

Guessing that you read this by curiosity for us, we hug/thank you very sincerely by finishing with this: Arkedo’s members are fine, most haven’t stopped the pixels and will show you new things with their own manners. In this kind of case, we say “See ya” rather than “Farewell”, right?

It’s always sad seeing a talented game studio closing down, but unfortunately these days is more and more common. We hope the very best for all those french guys. Keep it up!

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