The App Store is a brutal place, particularly to those still developing premium games. Many of these studios are one project failing away from closing up shop, which seems to be exactly what has happened to Rodeo Games, the developers behind the absolutely fantastic Warhammer Quest [$2.99], Hunters: Episode One [$4.99], Hunters 2 [$4.99], and finally, Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion [$1.99].

All of their games launched with great reviews and an excited fanbase, but none of that really seems to matter anymore in the App Store of 2016. As players in the Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch thread were wondering why the game wasn't getting updated to fix bugs, add content, and all the other things the previous titles saw, an ex-Rodeo Games developer shed some light on the situation. Apparently the majority of the team left months ago, and as far as he knows, there's no one left to offer any kind of support or work on any kind of additional content. Additionally, "like most indie developers, you're only as good as your last game, and even though Deathwatch was Rodeo's highest metric game, it didn't make enough so we had to move on."

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This news really stings, as it'd be one thing if these guys just made bad games, but the situation is the exact opposite. As far as turn-based strategy games are concerned, Rodeo Games is responsible for some of the best the App Store has to offer. When it comes to Warhammer games, the same is true. The Warhammer IP has been plagued with mediocre licensed mobile games, with both Warhammer Quest and Deathwatch standing in stark contrast to the rest of the field of kinda-sorta alright Warhammer releases over the years.

With Rodeo Games now likely now existing in name only, if you're at all interested in playing any of their fantastic games it's a good idea to download them and make sure you keep the .ipa files backed up in a safe place. Sorry to kick Friday off with such depressing news!

Thanks, Victor!

  • shining jade

    Yea ..still you back up the iPA and Apple iTunes most likely won't let you re install it ...good luck with that idea

    • liam Hince

      Any backed up ipa will install on to any device that has been authorised by itunes, as long as the apple id associated with that ipa is authorised in itunes aswell.

  • Zendorphin

    Eek.

    Thanks for everything folks! So sorry for you. Wishing you all the best in the future.

  • rezn

    Damn that's rough. I just connected with Rodeo via Twitter maybe a month ago. And I never liked WarHammer gamers until I played Deathwatch.

    It's sad when this happens. I truly hope those who have the most passion whom were involved with Rodeo Games have success in other means and avenues in life. Good people indeed.

  • Jeremy Price

    This is really disheartening. Deathwatch is a really good game.

  • http://bitgamereviews.tumblr.com/ BitGameReviews

    his is becoming an all to common occurrence these days. Rodeo games will definitely be missed.

  • JRaynor

    Well i'm not even surprised that Deathwatch fails the same price a WHQ and even more consumables iap to get more marines for me ruined

    Besides from that the awfull Support on steam that WHQ (even though this wasn't ported by rodeo) and even worse is Deathwatch that since release isn't even working for most people and they didn't even give a reply to all those people that doesn't say anything good about your product

    Just a little peak for your enjoyment

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/394450/discussions/0/487877107130741124/#p1

    • Herbert Derps

      I checked out your link. Those people are (understandably) really upset. Now I really don't feel that bad for Rodeo Games if what those people are claiming is true. I bought all their games on iOS.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        It seems like they just ran out of resources. I promise you no one who makes a video game ever intentionally makes it shitty.

      • Stustaff

        Really?

        So they never choose to reduce content to meet a deadline or not spend time improving something that could do with tweaking because people are moving onto a new project..

        Your right they don't intend to make it shorty but their choices can still have that impact.

      • JRaynor

        gotta agree anyone who makes games doesn't want to make shitty games

        Still they got in this situation pretty much by their own will, this post of C.Hannum in the forums saids pretty hard truth and facts Rodeo most of the times with their games didn't know who audience to go for

        http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=3789594&postcount=3609

        Even as you put it the app store is a brutal place for premiun games and when you even "screw" your audience in a market that sell mostly premiun games (Steam) is pretty clear you're not going to end well

        From WHQ on steam having iap that create a huge negatives reviews on their front page even though Rodeo didn't port the game it all goes back to them

        And just leaving Deathwatch to total abandoned during the release week without a fix for even being to play the game.... well all of that is in the front page of their game and those aren't going to attract any buyers

        In the end i'm not even sad for rodeo mostly angry they didn't know to make their games either premiun or freemiun and on the appstore that flaw can kill your game the same day of release

  • Marvin

    I know the Warhammer games received great praise, and I love SPRGs, but it wasn't somethings that felt great to me. It sucks people lost their jobs or moved on to other games, but after playing an hour or so of Warhammer Quest it never pulled me back to it. I'm sure there's many that feel the same as I do, but given its praise, it does surprise me that it hasn't succeeded in keeping the doors open.

  • ffaust

    I liked all the games but thought they were just adding a new skin onto what worked for them in the past. If I recall there was a good bit of drama surrounding Hunters 2. I thought 40k was alright but was not different enough from anything else that was out for me to bother finishing.

    • comment95405

      agree that all of their games were very similar

      also very grindy in a non-addictive way

  • Themagicjesus

    I remember playing tons of Hunters 2

  • Bradley

    Maybe if they hadn't released an unfinished, buggy game built on promises of future content it would have done better? Maybe if their IAPs were something concrete rather than random pack nonsense?

  • Enker

    I've played all their games and find this a horrible waste of a talented studio - their use of the overworked Warhammer license was excellent and I was hoping to see a new IP from them :(

  • Tone1978

    That sucks. I loved hunters one and 2 and war hammer quest was a lot of fun. As a huge fan of turn based strategy games, it's sad to have one less studio making them. I still feel I don't find the enjoyment I had from first time playing fire emblem series .. I wish a studio would make a turn based game similar to fire emblem (pre GameCube) with tons of content lol. And a polished updated ui. If I win the lottery one day, il flood the app store with awesome rpg turn based games lol. Not for profit but for fun!!
    Tony

    • 64o

      have a look at iWestnoth HD. solid port of one of the best PC strategy RPGs. UI isn't exactly modern but has a vast amount of content and replayability

  • Psac42

    The article says it well. It sucks because these are great games at the core. There were some bugs and such in DW that needed to be fixed, but there was still something great there. It's a shame that the shovelware can do well, and premium games will disappear.

  • Maelwolf

    I still play Warhammer Quest to this day. It really is a shame, and I don't think they could have done much differently. People called any IAPs they tried to include a greedy cash grab, but reality shows that they were not exactly rolling in money. The simple fact is most gamers these days have not appreciation for the cost that goes into proper development, and thus freemium rules mobile.

    • mindseyes

      Also we have no clue what kinda money did these guys expect from and app anyways? I think maybe they spent money in advertisement as I think it was in the top apple section for good games before. But maybe they needed to keep content rolling in or use what they had made. I mean not every studio manages there money well either but also sad to see games go. I don't see any app bringing in 120k each for 5 guys for more then a year or 2 ? That would be hard for any .

      • mindseyes

        Or developers go hope they come back somewhere else

  • liam Hince

    I'm not surprised to be honest i loved there games but had difficulty recommending them to people and would usually find myself discouraging WH:deathwatch's purchase. One reason most people dont want to grind/grind/grind/grind to get a pointless point or two especially on mobile. I would rather dedicate that time to say xcom or blackguards (aware there from much bigger companies but point still remains)

    • Andrew Fretz

      Maybe one day xcom will be on mobile, you never know!

      • Mince0

        I'd never even heard of xcom until it came to mobile. Just got xcom 2 but decided to wait for performance patches before starting.

        After re-reading my comment I just want to say I loved every rodeo game made this game took over my life last August . Just I always felt they were to time consuming for what they were.

  • OrangutanKungfu

    I really, really enjoyed Warhammer Quest, and spent a fair bit on IAPs to expand the game and get extra characters, which isn't something I'd ever normally do. What a crying shame.

  • http://www.wavelightgames.com/ WaveLightGames

    That's unfortunate. Best wishes to the employees and their families. Hope they're all onto bigger and better projects.

  • ste86uk

    Ouch that really sucks I love Rodeo. Deathwatch was a great game and Warhammer was my favourite iOS game

    • Phoenix24

      Totally agree with you. WHQ is an awesome game and I never get bored of it. Deathwatch was great but I beat it early, and couldn't be bothered to grind, although I sunk about £40-50 into it. So long Rodeo Games.

  • bifter

    I love Quest and WH 40k. Both still on my device, n I get through a lot of games. Boo hoo 😭

  • jamesgecko

    Aww man. Now it's probably just a matter of time before an iOS update breaks Warhammer Quest forever. :-(

  • Schpank

    I know this unfortunate news will be used to support predictions of the end of the premium market, but let us know when all premium games fail to make money, and I'll be a believer. I'm sure I'll garner scorn, but I always found Rodeo's games to be pretty, shallow, and ultimately kinda boring. Deathwatch is no exception. I also wonder if the $1.99 price was way too low.

    • SPEEDYPH

      Crazy man this is 😔😔😔sad

  • blindmuggy

    They made the mistake of teaming up with the money hungry warhammer games people there isnt a single warhammer game that doesnt try and grab money the worst part is they are premium and with iap to be able to enjoy the game

  • JCho133

    Shame, one of my favorite studios. I guess this is what happens when you put a stupid loot system in your game

  • icepulse

    None of them held my interest for more than a day or two. Turn a corner, kill a grunt. Turn a corner, kill a grunt. 40k Squad Command for the PSP was 10x better. Much closer to the tabletop experience. I also preferred Arcane Magic & Space Wolf; two non-Rodeo WH games.

    Hope the team finds work w/ more inspired directors.

  • Poo

    This news is balls!!!!!!!!!! Hunters 1 was the first decent tactics style game I played on iOS. I have all their games and most of the IAP from WHQ. Dropped probably close to a hundred on deathwatch.

    I hope they end up making more great games where ever they end up.

  • garbui

    Eli, do you know what happens to IAPs? For example, say you have a backed up .ipa of Warhammer Quest, but you have a lot of content unlocked with IAP. Does the Apple Store still "honor" those IAPs or are they lost?

    • Noah

      If the Binary is removed from the App Store (meaning if they pull the app completely) then your IAP will NOT redownload.

      • garbui

        Thanks, I guess that makes sense, since there's nothing left in the App Store to check or authenticate against. That's a big con for games that like WH:Q that have a ton of unlockable content. :(

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I've been ruminating on an editorial about the validity of jailbreak piracy methods to retain access to purchases you made but pondering such things aloud will probably just make people mad.

      • Poo

        Not me. If you paid for it and they remove it so you lose iap unlocks less then I think it's fair game at that point. Key words being if you paid for it.

  • Jim Shorts

    wow that sucks

  • Evolution888

    Hunters 1 and 2 are top notch ... deserves acknowledgement for sure

  • Ryan Cunningham

    its hard working on WH40K apps when a number of them have resulted in bad ratings and poor sales, also 2015 was loaded with 40k titles being announced and released.

  • fabell

    Par for the course. These days it's hard to find a creative team like Rodeo that stays with Apple for the long haul. It's too much of a gamble, especially when these guys all left lucrative positions at AAA developers. Get their games while you can, guys!

  • baelnor

    First playdek and now rodeo. Two of the best developers out there haven't succeeded.

    I suppose the F2P models have claimed victory. All hail our new overlords.

  • Dustin Brooks

    Can't believe a talented studio like that would just back out, pack up, and quit like that, i'm sure there's plenty of Indie studios out there barely scraping by but that's no reason to just totally quit.

  • Nev3rhappy

    I really think F2P was the worst thing that happened to the AppStore. People absolutely have no interest paying for their entertainment. In fact, many feel entitled to have it free or no more than $.99

    This can't last. You can't get blood from a stone, and you can't get high quality titles made by talented developers for a buck and expect a thriving business model for these studios.

    And with the 3DS and Vita entering the twilight of their lives, I'm becoming more and more resigned to the fact that most, if not all of my gaming will be done on the big screen in the next 1-3 years.

    • lk

      You do know that people are paying for IAPs more then ever right? Its not like only poor/cheap people play F2P games.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        People who makes these arguments don't know that, no.

      • Nev3rhappy

        I know people pay for IAP but the F2P market has killed the "premium" experience for those of us who want to drop $15-$20 for a complete experience with not an ad or grindy currency system in sight.

        A few companies like square can still pull it off, but for most developers and their customers, the only game in town is F2P.

      • Nev3rhappy

        Yes. But the whole mobile game scene feels predatory and cheap now. There's always another carrot dangled in front of you. Let me pay a fair price to be left alone and enjoy a complete piece of entertainment.

  • vicsark

    You're welcome Eli.
    I'm sorry I was the one to bring the bad news from the forums to you and Shaun :(

    I kinda hopped you could get in touch with the Rodeo guys and get some more info.
    And maybe bring us some hope they'll come back :(

    Hunters 1 and 2, WH Quest and Deathwatch are still in my favorite games list on iOS. So sad to see Rodeo go under. 😡

  • Baron Cappuccino

    Warhammer Quest is glorious in its relentless, unfair brutality-- I bought every add-on for it. I also picked up the 40k title, but haven't really gotten to it yet. Rodeo will be missed.

    • 64o

      unfair brutality to the point of being outright broken. balanced such that trying run a party of warriors all with double regeneration rings was impossible as the game would increase the difficulty based on how many melee characters you had in your squad

  • chaos_envoys

    This is really sad!!! I remember playing lots of Hunters 1 and 2 back in my college days, and even playing while charging since it was that good!! Hunters 2 was a masterpiece!! If only they release their games on android, I'll surely double dipp on all of them.. Sadly that's impossible now..

  • icepulse

    The whole crew was probably hired by Apple, and a NDA is preventing them from revealing it.

    • Modjular

      Does that happen? Makes me feel better if its true

      • icepulse

        I know it happened w/ a developer that made a great music app (instrument); "Samplr". It was so sublime, it defined the platform. It'll no doubt end up as part of either A) Garageband iOS, or B) iLogic (when it happens).

  • 64o

    shame that even a game such as this which was such a high profile iOS release that it received

  • 64o

    shame that even a game such as this which was such a high profile and well reviewed iOS release that it received coverage from console focussed gaming sites is considered as bombing. had least a couple months attention as being an iPad graphical powerhouse and then a couple more when they brung it over to PC

  • Anti Danilevski

    Awful article. No research were done on the reasons why they had to close the business. Bad monetization? Bad retention? Inner conflicts? Ip cost? Marketing expenses?

    If you're writing articles, do your homework.

    • Tallgeese

      Aside from what the company will say this isn't the kind of info they like to hand out or admit to...

  • RiptoR

    Seems Deathwatch just went free on the appstore. No mention anywhere why though.

    • Tallgeese

      Probably a last ditch effort to get people playing and hopefully soak up some IAP money and get some buzz. Also since they're shuttering for a while (hopefully to return), they may be doing the somewhat bittersweet, "goodbye, but also, here, you can have this," like the creators of the Nightmare Cooperative did. They also mention it going free in a more recent article...

  • waderain

    Why do they say it bombed? I like it, it's pretty close to the table top version. It got great reviews, a few glitches but no more than any other iPad/iPhone game.