RocketCat: "We almost cancelled Wayward Souls"

And how it would’ve played as F2P

RocketCat: "We almost cancelled Wayward Souls"

Wayward Soulsdeveloper RocketCat has admitted it almost cancelled the critically acclaimed game thanks to what proved to be a protracted period  of development.

Though the game - which was awarded a perfect 10/10 score on sister site Pocket Gamer - is already widely regarded as a classic, but in an interview with RocketCat's Kepa Auwae admitted the game almost slipped away pre-release.

"We almost cancelled the game, at around the one and a half year mark," detailed Auwae.

"At that point, it took twice as long to make as any of our other games, and it didn't look like there was any end in sight. It's already a bad idea to take nine months to make a game on iOS."

Soul survivor

Auwae went on to disclose that RocketCat took a full six months off of Wayward Souls' development, calling it "almost completely dead time" - but, happily, the team persevered and Wayward Souls is on track to pass Punch Quest's profits-to-date in a matter of weeks.

Which is also interesting, given Wayward Souls also almost launched as a free-to-play release.

"It was originally going to be free, with buying in-app purchase characters," began Auwae.

"We abandoned this concept for now, but will probably revisit it in a future game. The problem was that all our characters are pretty complex, due to all the different playstyles and how each equipment upgrade they get changes their play style more. So making ten-plus characters ended up being too difficult, and you really need a lot of characters to support the 'buy characters with money' idea."

There's a big incentive to make a game that is as 'lowest common denominator' as possible

As it turns out, however, going premium might pay dividends for RocketCat in the long run since Wayward Souls is - in Auwae's words - a really niche game, and it likely wouldn't have hit the numbers it needed to achieve F2P success.

"I'm thinking the numbers you want for a free game is at least five-million. To get this, there's a big incentive to make a game that is as 'lowest common denominator' as possible. You want to make something that everyone can sort of like for awhile, while not really offending anyone by being too different than something that's already popular."

"Actually, I'd say the last line is great advice for any mobile game developer - maybe a little cynical?"

If you're interested in learning more about Wayward Souls, click here to read the full making of feature.

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.