Trine series developer Frozenbyte has addressed issues raised by fans and critics following the release of Trine 3, noting that an unexpectedly poor reception has put the future of the puzzle-platforming franchise in question.
Responding in a lengthy Steam Community thread, studio vice president Joel Kinnunen explains that a too-large scope and an inflated budget may have driven Trine 3 in a different direction than what fans wanted or expected.
“Back in late 2012, we set out to do Trine 3 in full 3D – bigger, badder, better,” Kinnunen stated. “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.”
Kinnunen continues: “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.”
Overbudget and running up against its own ambitious plans, Frozenbyte then decided to scale back Trine 3, focusing on polishing up the core elements it had developed. This strategy, Kinnunen notes, resulted in the final product seeming short in length, in comparison to previous Trine games.
“As for the cliffhanger ending and DLC – there are no plans for a DLC,” Kinnunen asserts. “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.”
Kinnunen assures that the company will continue to update and improve Trine 3 in the meantime, and expects that the team needs “a breather to bounce back from all this,” before further decisions regarding the series can be considered.