Last week’s bummer story of the week was definitely news of Rodeo Games going under following Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch – Tyranid Invasion ($1.99) not doing anywhere near as well as they had hoped which resulted in most of the Rodeo Games staff leaving the company. Well, if you were curious to see the studio-slaying Warhammer game, Deathwatch is now free for anyone to download and check out.
Since then, we’ve heard from a few different developers who clued us in as to why Rodeo Games may have been in such a precarious financial position. If sources who contacted us are to be believed, developing a Warhammer game consists of giving Games Workshop upwards of 50% of the game revenue until a certain threshold is hit, at which point that percentage ratchets back significantly to around 30% or so.
So, it’s entirely possible that the original revenue sharing target for Deathwatch was really high, leaving Rodeo Games with 50% of the proceeds (likely after Apple’s 30%) of a game that already didn’t sell well. Of course these types of agreements are always under strict non-disclosure agreements, so what actually happened with Rodeo Games remains a mystery. Given what other developers have been through, it’s not much of a stretch to connect the dots.
We really liked Deathwatch in our review, and while it never saw needed bug fixes or any additional content, it’s still worth downloading and checking out- Particularly at the price of zero dollars.