Arkedo Studio, the developer behind XBLA’s Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, will no longer be producing games. The independent French developer is not shutting down, but it no longer has any employees and will not be developing any future games, a blog post from Arkedo Creative Director Aurelien Regard explains.
“Arkedo, the company, is still here,” writes Regard in the post that was roughly translated from French to English by a fan. “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 Hell Yeah!, 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.”
A lack of a publisher-funded future project to work on; an inability to sustain the mid-sized studio Arkedo apparently grew to be during Wrath of the Dead Rabbit‘s development; and divergent future plans of Regard and Arkedo co-founder Camille Guermonprez all contributed to the decision to let the team go and not produce any more software.
The family is about to sit down for dinner and we’ve just wished each other Happy Easter — over the phone. Instead of sitting down at the dining room table with the rest of the family, I’m hours away in Boston for PAX East. A little white bunny is on a screen in front of me, but he’s not that bunny. No, this little rabbit hops down an entirely different trail than Peter Cottontail. The rabbit in question on the show floor, Ash, is the star of Arkedo Studio’s Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit and the Prince of Hell. The independent French studio has previously developed handheld, mobile and XBLIG games, so most Xbox gamers aren’t terribly familiar with it. Well, that’s all going to change this summer when Arkedo releases what studio co-founder Camille Guermonprez would later describe to me as “a [fluffing] video game.”
Easter Sunday was the final day of the 2012 convention hosted by Penny Arcade, and an appointment with Guermonprez to discuss Hell Yeah! was the last one on the XBLA Fans schedule for the weekend. I had passed by the game’s booth many times over the weekend and caught glimpses of what appeared to be a wonderfully insane and gorgeous action title that proudly channels early ’90s Genesis and SNES side-scrollers. Several other members of the team had gotten their hands on it during the first two days of the con and word was that this was not a demo to be missed.
But my schedule was jam-packed with appointments to play other promising games and talk to other developers all weekend. Hell Yeah! would have to wait. When XBLA Fans EiC John Laster, reporter Nick DePetris, photographer Scratch Pratt and I finally arrive to speak with Guermonprez, though, it turns out that we are doomed to wait just a little longer. Guermonprez, surely having spent even more time on his feet and in interviews than I had during the weekend, had given in to exhaustion and headed to lunch. And so we waited.