Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Amaranth Games Retires From Game Development – For Now

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 1, 2016

Aveyond4Well, ya’ll know I’ve been a fan of Amanda Fitch and Amaranth Games since the release of the original Aveyond: Ren’s Quest (then just called¬†Aveyond). It was one of the first commercial releases of an RPGMaker-based game, and even if was the first of the open floodgates, the series remained among the highest quality RPG Maker titles on the market.

For a while, Amaranth continued to capitalize on the casual games market, with the RPGs selling well to that market as well as the RPG fans. Amaranth interspersed some straight-up casual game releases between RPG launches for a while, mainly because they were far, far easier to make, RPGMaker notwithstanding. The market kept shifting, and Amaranth kept adapting, breaking the third game into four ‘chapters’ that were theoretically smaller than the first two games, selling for half the price. But of course, the games grew…

Last month, the fourth (or seventh, depending on how you count) Aveyond game launched… Aveyond 4: Shadow of the Mist.

And, sadly, it sounds like it may be the last.

Yesterday, Amaranth Games posted that it is changing its name to Aveyond Studios, the website is going to become a personal company website rather than a games portal, and they will be pursuing tools development. While they aren’t completely writing off the possibility of another Aveyond at some point, at this point the market is no longer interested and they cannot continue game development. On a personal level, it sounds like they … and they meaning Amanda & Bryce, these indie studios really are just very small collections of people… are anxious for a break from the pressures of game development: “The game industry is very competitive right now and we need a break from the madness.”

A larger excerpt from the post:

“We love making Aveyond, but Aveyond 4 will likely be the last game in the series. In the beginning, Aveyond was a hit. It generated around $500,000 USD in sales. As the years have gone by, the Aveyond games have made less and less. Our last game, in my opinion, was awesome, but sales were the lowest in the series and only made around $30,000. It’s not enough for one, let alone two developers to live on. A lot has changed over the years in games and what the general market wants has shifted. It’s just the way things are. If you REALLY want another Aveyond game, I’ll create a Kickstarter campaign. If it works, great. If not, then that’s just the way things are.”

Now, I totally understand and I wish them the best of luck. I think they are making the right decision for their family. As stated, it’s the way things are. I’m a bit sad for me, personally, as I’ve enjoyed the Aveyond series.

More particularly, I’ve held up Amaranth Games for years as an example of indie success, and it’s been an inspiration for me. Amanda did it right. Now,¬†this shifting of gears and retirement (for now) from game development in no way changes that. While perhaps not as “rah, rah!” inspirational, I think this current move might be yet another good example of doing things The Right Way. Especially when game development has become a burden or not the right thing right now for one’s family / stage in life.

So while it may no longer be contemporary, Amaranth Games remains a great example of doing it right:

  1. Learning the ropes with non-commercial efforts.
  2. Seizing an opportunity when the market presents itself
  3. Excelling within a niche and growing beyond it
  4. Adapting to changing market conditions
  5. When it’s no longer fun or profitable, getting out cleanly BEFORE it becomes a disaster

So… Amaranth Games… Amanda & Bryce: I salute you and wish you well and good luck in your new venture. I also want to thank you for the many hours of enjoyment in the cute, quirky, sometimes disturbing but always delightful world of Aveyond.

Filed Under: Biz, Indie Evangelism - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • lakerz said,

    Sadly Amaranth is experiencing what will likely cause many indie developers to hang it up. As you noted in your previous blogs, the amount of shovel ware and derivative (but super cheaply priced) clones have taken over. The gems in each space are being swamped by the masses of bleh. And it can be tough especially for rpgmaker games to succeed commercially now with so many decent free ware rpgmaker games out there. I bought their previous Aveyond games though and wish them well.