Monday, October 19, 2015

Nancy Drew Game Delay

I want to talk more about the next Nancy Drew game being delayed. The company says they delayed the game because they're switching to a new game engine.

I personally suspect that the game's delay is due to the fact that Her Interactive had to let a number of employees go in May this year. We don't know how many employees are still at the company. The outdated Linked In profile page for the company only lists ten employees.

Another possible reason for the delay? Changing priorities at the company. The first two websites I linked to both mention that the company wants to switch to the mobile games market. My wife says that makes sense; she thinks PC gaming is a dying market, and mobile games are the future. We're told that Her Interactive is working on a new Nancy Drew app, for iOS and Android, to be released in Spring 2015. So maybe Midnight in Salem was delayed, because their major focus is on the upcoming mobile game, not the upcoming PC game.

Her Interactive has tried mobile games before, with limited success. Secret of Shadow Ranch was a text-heavy gamebook. Ghost of Thornton Hall was a port of the PC game. In both cases, the hope was that the games would be super-popular and get followed up by a gamebook based on The Captive Curse and a port of The Silent Spy, respectively. Both those follow-ups were shelved. I didn't think much of it at the time, as this was the fourth attempt to port Nancy Drew games to different gaming systems (DVD, Wii and GBA).

I'm also wondering what will become of the Hardy Boys game. As hinted at in Labyrinth of Lies, Her Interactive got the rights to make a Hardy Boys PC game. If the company is having financial troubles, this game might not live to see the light of day. They made a Hardy Boys game for the DS in 2009, which isn't the greatest game ever, but it's leaps and bounds better than the Nancy Drew DS game made around the same time.


Katie said...

I love PC games, so it would be a humongous disappointment to me if they abandon them. However, I realize I must be a dinosaur to feel that way.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a market for PC games, but it seems to be controlled/niched to Steam and the few people who are interested in indie games. I think it's the kind of game the Nancy Drew games are - point and click adventure. The only company I can think of that currently makes episodic adventure games are from Telltale. A large chunk of Nancy Drew's userbase was also kids and schools, and now most schools are using software on ipads or netbooks. I think if the company CAN translate the games well to other platforms, in particular mobile, than all the better for them, but the Nancy Drew games are known for a pretty consistent quality. If the mobile games are vastly different than the PC ones and vice versa in terms of length, then I can't really see the company succeeding. Unless I'm living in a cave and iphones can take the kind of graphics you see in the most recent Nancy Drew PC games, they'll most likely have to make gimped games like the Dossier games for mobile, and decide whether they want to continue the PC-style games at all.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what kids or people like to do these days? I wonder how popular it is to still play pc games among gamers? I like Nancy Drew series because I'm an old soul, it is very American as well.
But I think there is the reality that herinteractive is a company.
I can think that it is true that their games can be more marketable if it is available on smartphones.
Kinda sad because Nancy Drew is my favorite game of all time, and I dream to work for herinteractive one day... But since you said they laid off employees...
I actually have an idea for them to do, but maybe they don't have that much money to go forward with my idea.

lence said...

I concur with comments above. In my non-professional opinion, their marketing seems rather poor, but marketing (as well as attempts at improving popularity, be it by the means of switching platforms or whatever) costs money.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will still do a walkthrough of Miss Clue, it is a such a rip off of classic Nancy Drew games (games 1-12), would love to hear your take on it! : )

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, I think the Nancy Drew games are a throwback and despite my playing them for 10 years, they are of the quality that TellTale follows with some of their games. When I was homeschooled, these games taught me fascinating aspects that you wouldn't find in a traditional classroom as well as problem-solving skills reminiscent of Scooby-Doo. From a marketing standpoint, they are losing money and following the mobile gaming industry may be in their best interests, especially if they follow similar examples to how TellTale has utilized their work in the Game of Thrones Mobile Game.

In all honesty, with the advances in technology, I wouldn't mind seeing a rehash of the old nancy drew games for more accessible platforms like on recent Macs. That being said, it will take some time, but I feel like rather than go out altogether, HerInteractive really is trying to stay afloat while staying loyal to the fans.

On a final note, I think the Midnight in Salem game is going to be ready by Halloween of 2016 to fit the spooky preview. That being said, if it doesn't happen, I will not be a happy camper!

Ciao for now!