Trine's Future "Now in Question" After Criticism of Trine 3

Frozenbyte reveals the game's cost, which was much higher than anticipated.

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Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power
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Since it left Steam Early Access on August 20, complaints have emerged over the length of Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power. More specifically, many fans are taking issue with how short the $22 game is. This prompted developer Frozenbyte to offer an explanation of what happened with the game's development and to reveal the future of the series is "now in question."

"Right off the bat I will say that we are proud of the game and what we have achieved overall," reads a message from Frozenbyte VP Joel Kinnunen on the game's Steam forums. "We think it's a fun game and we don't think it's too expensive either considering all the elements we have been able to put into the game.

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"However, our view is perhaps skewed, and we are now realizing that we have been looking at this perhaps from a different perspective and that many players do not accept that. We still think the game is good but the cliffhanger story and the relative shortness of the game are valid criticisms but ones which we didn't realize would cause a disappointment in this scale. Sorry!"

While a large portion player reviews on Steam are positive (the average is deemed "mostly positive"), the three reviews promoted as being most helpful are all negative and make a point of criticizing the game's length. They estimate it to last 4-5 hours, which Frozenbyte says it "accept[s]," though it believes 6-7 hours is more likely.

Whatever the specific length, Trine 3 didn't end up as long as was originally planned. This game marks the series' first foray into 3D graphics--the previous games were all 2D sidescrollers--and it proved to be more expensive than Frozenbyte anticipated.

"Back in late 2012, we set out to do Trine 3 in full 3D--bigger, badder, better," Kinnunen said. "We took a big risk with the 3D gameplay implementation--it was to be a massive improvement over the previous games in several areas. We have always been ambitious and this time our ambition may have gotten the better of us.

"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."

Kinnunen goes on to shoot down the insinuation that the game was deliberately made short to sell DLC. Instead, he said, "We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible. What we sold on Early Access was the 'realistic' vision and what we promised is what we have delivered, in our opinion. The finished Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power game might not be as long as we hoped initially, but something we are very proud of nonetheless."

As of right now, there are no plans for 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," Kinnunen said. "The future of the series is now in question, as the feedback, user reviews, and poor media attention has caught us by surprise."

Whatever the future holds for DLC or additional installments, Frozenbyte's plan for now is to work on fixing issues with the game, including "technical bugs and multiplayer problems."

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