Fans of Frozenbyte's Trine series, which, as of last year, had sold over 7 million copies worldwide, have become increasingly vocal since the franchise's third installment hit shelves on August 20, with plenty of players expressing their disappointment at the game's short length and divisive new features.
While some have been more forgiving than others - Trine 3 currently has 497 positive reviews compared with 187 instances of negative feedback over on Steam - the Frozenbyte team have been unable to shut out the dissenting voices.
Taking to the Steam forums, Frozenbyte VP Joel Kinnunen has revealed exactly why the threequel turned out the way it did, explaining that the game's shortcomings are a result of over-ambition combined with financial naivety.
"Back in late 2012, we set out to do Trine 3 in full 3D - bigger, badder, better. We took a big risk with the 3D gameplay implementation - it was to be a massive improvement over the previous games in several areas. We have always been ambitious and this time our ambition may have gotten the better of us," explained Kinnunen.
"[…] we did not intentionally make the game “short” as many have said in order to make money off of future DLC or whatever. We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible.
"Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has ended up costing nearly triple that of Trine 2 – over 5.4 million USD. We initially had a much longer story written and more levels planned, but to create what we envisioned, it would have taken at least triple the money, probably up to 15 million USD, which we didn’t realize until [it was] too late."
Although he concedes the criticisms leveled at his team are "valid", Kinnunen is still adamant that what they delivered was a "realistic vision", emphasizing that the studio is proud of the game they put out.
It's also clear, however, that the backlash has caught everyone involved by surprise, with Kinnunen admitting that the future of the series is now in question.