The Rodeo Games death reports got a bit more interesting today, with the co-founder and creative director, Ben Murch insisting the studio isn't dead yet. Backing up a bit, this whole thing all started last week when an ex-Rodeo Games developer posted in our forums about how the majority of the Rodeo Games team left months ago, and as far as he knows there wasn't anyone left to make content or support the game. From the outside, this made total sense as Warhammer 40K - Deathwatch [$1.99] seemed to be left to die on the vine as members of our forums reported total radio silence on incoming bug fixes, content updates, and more.

What made the whole thing weirder is that we got notification of an update which was embargoed for August 18th of last year that the multiplayer expansion was coming to Deathwatch. It never materialized though, and a few months later Rodeo Games posted in our forums that iOS 9's Game Center killed their iOS multiplayer (which still hasn't been released). In December they clarified that there was "Literally nothing we can do." Like anything, there's always two sides to a story.

As mentioned, we received this from Ben Murch today:

Due to inaccurate reports in the press over the last few days and the questions we’ve received regards the future of Rodeo we thought it was best we update everyone to let you know what’s been happening.

As reported some of the team left the studio back in November, after we’d shipped the iOS and PC versions of Deathwatch. Since then the core team have been working on new platforms for Deathwatch, one of which we’ll be announcing shortly!

Despite Deathwatch being the best game we’ve created as a studio and our highest rated metacritic game, the changes in market have meant that we are unable to continue development as we’d initially planned. Coupled with some personal issues within the team, Rodeo Games are currently taking a break from developing any new titles. The team will continue to support our existing titles.

We’d like to thank all our fans, especially those who have followed us since the beginning. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the Games Workshop team who were kind enough to trust us with their IP and have supported us hugely over the last few years. Without them, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the commercial and critical success of the last 3 years.

We'll announce our plans for future releases at the appropriate time. We intend to carry on making the games we love, for the people who love them.

I guess it's open for interpretation whether "dead" and "taking a break from developing any new titles" are the same thing after most of the team leaves are the same thing when games have gone unsupported for months. Either way, I genuinely hope things turn around for Rodeo Games, as we've mentioned time and time again: The games they've released are fantastic. But, right now, the whole thing sort of feels like this:

  • cyllwynn

    It got torn to shreds in steam. Why would you not flesh out the game and sell DLC rather than port it to another platform where more people can feel like it was left unfinished? It all makes no sense from the letter. I recall that they were a small team of 4-5 friends. Then I read they opened new offices, had a staff of 5-10(?) and it's not hard to see where a small indie tried to grow too fast. But who know.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Yeah, who knows, like I mention in the article the whole thing seems weird.

      • SalmonFinger

        The whole thing seems weird because you took what was clearly an outside opinion and ran a story without fact checking before giving us all heart attacks.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        The original story was based on quotes from the developer on our forums, it's a very normal source for us, and not one any reasonable person would question?

      • SalmonFinger

        He never said he knew for certain which I think is the point, reaching out before running the story probably would have avoided him getting sued lol.

        I'm glad they're still going, it sounds like they trimmed the fat from the studio, you can see from the credits they expanded, WHQ to deathwatch went from 5 to 10+ dudes.

  • Gurney Halleck

    So I'm assuming it's probably still a good idea to wait for more news before investing in the rng card packs? Would hate to see this pulled and lose IAP purchase restoration on content right after buying..

  • JRaynor

    if this is a "real" reason and the previus news about GW taking 50% of the earnings until X period of time is also real

    Here is hoping instead they come back in the future with just Hunters 3 (f2p or premiun i dont care to be honest just pick one not a mix) and just leave the warhammer brand behind

    Rodeo if you continue making games just two things think well if you want your game to f2p or premiun dont make a mix of the two, premiun gamers don't want rng card packs on their "premiun" games nor the f2p players are going to pay 5$ in advance to play for your games

    If you're going to continue making steam releases of your games make sure to give proper support going silent after a week of release on steam when the game doesn't work for most user is going to anything you make there and right now you dont have a good reputation among steam users

    • flashbackflip

      Good advice.

  • Jubelio

    I would have gone with a weekend at bernies reference myself.

  • Kotovsky

    So look's like they are searching for a new investments in studio or will go to publisher. Indie days are over.

  • brybry

    Silver lining... A very thin silver lining.

  • vicsark

    ...and DeathWatch just got free for the first time. I love the game and Rodeo, but imho, they should have made it F2P since the beginning since they were -expensive- card packs.

  • ScotDamn

    Nearly missed the story because I glanced and saw the same exact thumbnail used as the last article. New thumbnail maybe?!

    Nice MPHG video!

  • Lickzy

    What about the potential class action lawsuit that could have nearly bankrupt them as a result of the bug I discovered that ripped people off on card packs for 100's of thousands of dollars? Possibly millions?

    Or the thousands of refunds that were issued as a result of the bug?

    That could hurt the old bank roll.

    • Tallgeese

      bug?

      • Lickzy

        Check the forums, I screamed about it many times but anyways I will explain it in a nutshell.

        Card packs were not really random. After opening a certain number of packs you would experience "looping". By that I mean you would start to open the exact same packs without any variety in the exact same order. Didn't matter how many packs you bought, your results would remain unchanged. It was absolutely impossible to collect all the cards, just the cards that were part of the loop. You could spend a trillion dollars and you would only get the exact same packs, with the exact same cards, in order, time and time again.

        Thousands of dollars were refunded through the App Store as a result

      • Tallgeese

        Wow! Pretty awesome find! Sounds like their Random Number Generator was broken somehow. I never trust those things anyways, especially the ones that show you what you could've gotten (in a pick the box type scenario) because that could change the rewards nearly instantly to make if look like you just barely missed something really good, when in fact you wouldn't have really gotten that...

      • Tallgeese

        It didn't effect me directly but thanks for figuring that out for all the others...

  • RichRuzz

    I seriously doubted any multiplayer update ever existed. Looks like they tried to cash in on Steam and abandoned it. :/

  • YARRRRR

    Tis but a scratch.

  • Tallgeese

    VAMPIRES!!!

  • RunningWild

    He says they are taking a break and then goes on to say thanks to all fans and supporters. Sounds like a farewell to me..

  • Watch Commander Varras

    Is it just me or does anyone notice silent updates are coming in for deathwatch?
    I've noticed bullet shells landing on the ground and all new enemy death sounds,
    Along with some others.