If Arcadegeddon were an animal (roll with me here), it’d be a hip-hop banging phoenix rising from the ashes of a near disaster. After releasing Friday: The 13th and Predator: Hunting Grounds, developer IllFonic moved on to a new licensed multiplayer project that, unfortunately, was cancelled while deep in development – the day after last year’s Christmas, no less.
“I’m pretty sure I was looking in the mirror … and I was like ‘Oh s***,'” says IllFonic Art Director Izaak Moody while discussing the cancelation.
It was a major blow, but IllFonic’s creative head, Jarred Gerritzen, saw an opportunity to turn tragedy into triumph. He hunkered down in the solitary of quarantine and concocted the concept for a new, original game built upon the framework they’d already created. This new project would incorporate the team’s love of electronic hip hop and punk-rock culture as well as employ their multiplayer expertise to form a game they couldn’t get enough of playing. With a deadline that didn’t change despite the massive directional shift, IllFonic pulled together to create Arcadegeddon, a fresh blend of cooperative and competitive multiplayer that hopes to wow players with its unique gameplay and stylish presentation.
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I had a fun time blasting through Arcadegeddon and I’m impressed with what IllFonic has put together given the quick development cycle. The multiplayer shooter market is a historically crowded one and it’s hard to stand out, but the team hopes that their unique mix of style and gameplay can attract a sustainable audience. By going into Early Access, the team has a great opportunity to take player feedback and improve the game in real-time to ensure it’s exactly what players want once 1.0 rolls around. But even now, IllFonic seems confident that they’ve made something special.
“This is the first game, truly the first game in the past 20 years that I’ve developed on, that I still catch myself playing after work,” says Gerritzen. “This shooter space is always cramped, but when you put a screenshot with this game, and you say it’s a third person shooter, it’s X, Y, and Z like all these other games, you can look at and go ‘Wow, that looks different. I watched the videos, [and] that plays different. That sounds different. So, I feel like it is one of those things where it’ll stand out in this space.”