Arcen Games recently released Starward Rogue on Steam, and despite positive user reviews and many YouTube video and Twitch Streams, it's not selling well.
Due to the lack of sales, the company's founder Chris Park has been forced let go all by three of his staff. At its peak in recent months, according to GI.biz, Arcen had six full-time staff, four part-timers and seven on a piece-rate basis.
"We're lost in a sea of other titles," Park wrote on the company blog. "About 9,000 people on Steam have wishlisted the title, which is awesome - next time this goes on discount, hopefully they'll pick it up. By contrast, about 2,100 people have bought the game across Steam and Humble.
"We've never had [such an] awesome response and poor sales. Generally we wind up on the Steam top sellers list in the top 40 at around the low side, and peak somewhere in the top 10. Usually we hang out in the teens for a few days and then drop off.
With Starward Rogue, the game has "mostly hung" in the 200s instead of the teens. It peaked "briefly at #98" for under three hours.
Money used to develop the company's other project, Stars Beyond Reach, used most of the money earned from its previous title The Last Federation and back catalog sales for titles such as AI War, Skyward Collapse and A Valley Without Wind 1 and 2.
Stars Beyond Reach was originally slated for release in May 2015, but was pushed back thrice due to various issues. It will be released in Q2 this year. Starward Rogue was in development and completed during this time.
Starward Rogue is a rogue-lite title where players traverse a labyrinth lodged in the side of a star. They are tasked with dodging waves of bullets and can claim weapons and upgrades and more.
Released on Steam January 22, the game will run you $11.99 and has over 151 positive reviews.