I know you guys have been waiting a long time to hear some official word on a possible sequel to the game. There were reasons we had to keep silent and I appreciate all of your patience. However, we have waited long enough and it is time to let you know what is going on.
First and foremost, Psyonix has every intention of creating a sequel. In fact, a great deal of work has already been put into it. I've attached a few images showing you our progress on the title.
That is the good news, but there is also some bad. We've had a great deal of difficulty selling the game to publishers. All of you know what makes this game great, but a game about rocket-powered cars playing soccer doesn't fit into any typical mold. It is hard to explain the magic of playing this game to the average publisher executive. In addition, while it was commercially successful for us, it never achieved the kind of top ten popularity that publishers are looking for. It is kind of like a chicken and egg problem. We want to get a major publisher behind it because we never had that kind of marketing push the first time around, but because it didn't have that push it didn't gain high enough popularity for publishers to be interested in a new one. What is too often discounted is how amazing it was that a game with no marketing budget became a commercial success based entirely on word of mouth.
So where does that leave us? Well I can tell you we have no intention of abandoning the game. It does mean we're going to stop actively promoting it to publishers. Instead, we've decided to take our game development in a new direction. Most people know that Psyonix does a lot of what we call "work-for-hire" business. We are proud to be the
goto studio for helping out on triple-A Unreal Engine titles. What most people don't know is just how much of our own game development we do that you never hear about. We actually have a secret backlog of years worth of interesting projects. Whenever we have a developer that isn't attached to a work-for-hire project for a while, we continue the development of one of our own games - SARB2 included. In the past we have been silent about these titles as we work to find the right match with the right publisher. The problem has always been that we want to makes the games that inspire us in some way. Publishers are the same way but in order to make a deal, we have to be lucky enough to both be interested in the same kind of game at the same time. If you further limit yourself to major publishers only it becomes even more difficult. Certainly we could try to make only the kind of games that publishers are demanding. It would be the safer choice and maybe even the most profitable. But that simply isn't Psyonix.
What we're going to do is start bringing our game development directly to the gamers. What does that mean? Well, we're still working out the details. First and foremost it means being open about what is going on under the hood of the studio. We may not be able to entirely self-fund and release full games right away but we may be able to release partial games "while they are in development". It is a similar idea to what Notch has done with MineCraft. What we want to do is build community. One of our greatest strengths is speed of development. If the process for releasing updates to SARB didn't require so much certification and process, we would have been releasing updates weekly or even faster. On PC we can do that. We want to develop games not just for
you, but with
you. Community is the key here. As a game we showcase on PC becomes popular, the ability for us to release it on other platforms including consoles becomes dramatically easier, whether we use a publisher or self-fund it ourselves.
So starting this week we are ramping up our community involvement. We're going to start releasing information about titles you've never heard about. Soon after I expect you will be playing some of them. I have to ask once again for your patience on SARB 2 however. We don't have a playable version yet and so some of our other titles will most likely be the first to start this process out with.
That doesn't mean it isn't in the queue, and in fact we will be keeping you much more up to date on our progress there. What you can do is give us as much support in this new endeavor as possible. Our plan is to make SARB the popular game it deserves to be or die trying and this is just the first step.
More to come...
Psyonix Studio Director / Founder
EDIT: tl;dr - There is a sequel in early
development, however we are frustrated with the traditional publisher route and so we're working on a plan for taking our games directly to gamers. Other games will likely come first but BC2 is in the queue.