Sometimes the big tent-pole, triple-A title model doesn’t work, and a studio folds in on itself. This is a very common occurrence, and it’s rare that any given developer in this situation will regain their footing and continue making games. Thankfully, Double Fine, creators of Psychonauts, managed to dig themselves out of the Brutal Legend hole and converted their business model to making smaller, less financially risky downloadable games. This meant they were free to experiment with different genres and flex their witty writing muscles without subjecting themselves to the sometimes cruel whims of the video game playing masses.
Starting off with Costume Quest and leading into Stacking and Trenched (which I’ll get to in a moment), Double Fine has proven that they know how to make great games, and they’ve finally found themselves an audience that is receptive to their hard work. I did miss out on Costume Quest and Stacking (though I have heard they’re excellent) but I decided to check out Trenched, a mech combat/tower defense game, because those two play-styles mashed together sounds like a hell of a good time and it has co-op, which is always a plus in my books.
Continue reading Double Fine, Trenched, and Owning the Downloadable Market