Homestead Arcana launches into Game Pass next month, so we reached out to developer Serenity Forge to find out more about the Game Pass experience.
Homestead Arcana is one of the games coming to Game Pass that we’ve had our eye on for a while now — it’ll be a day one addition to the service, so we we reached out to developer Serenity Forge to find out more about the Game Pass experience, with founder and game director Zhenghua Yang and art director Eric Grossman having been kind enough to answer our questions.
Homestead Arcana developer Serenity Forge discusses the Xbox Game Pass experience
Magical farming game Homestead Arcana will be a day one launch into Xbox Game Pass, and we asked Yang and Grossman more about the Game Pass experience. “We are extremely excited to partner with Xbox to bring the game to Xbox Game Pass day one. Xbox Game Pass is something that really revolutionized gaming in recent years,” the pair say. “We’ve always been huge proponents of the Xbox and the team over there have been some of the most amazing people we’ve worked with. It’s an absolute pleasure and we can’t wait for all the Xbox Game Pass players to give the game a shot.”
It’s always interesting to get a little peek behind the curtain at how Game Pass day one additions like Homestead Arcana come about, so we asked Yang and Grossman what they could tell us about it. “We have always had an amazing relationship with Xbox. Ever since we started making games, we’ve been publishing them onto the Xbox,” they say. “By the time we started the development of Homestead Arcana, we had already launched a number of titles on the Xbox through the ID@Xbox program. Naturally, we started talking with the Xbox team very early in Homestead Arcana’s development (before we even had a real name for the game). Over time, this conversation continued to evolve, especially with our publishing partner Skybound joining in, vouching for us and the game!”
Yang and Grossman explain that Game Pass has a lot to offer indie game developers. “Xbox Game Pass was able to provide us with a lot of stability during development and also some critical resources we needed to push up the quality of the game,” they say. “Indie game development can be difficult and risky sometimes, especially for a multi-year project like Homestead Arcana. Having the buy-in from Xbox Game Pass was very important in validating all the investment we’ve put into the game, and it was able to help de-risk our partners to free up other resources in supporting the game. Ultimately, we are most excited for the fact that we get to share the game with a huge fan base, one where perhaps they would not otherwise buy the game at full price, but perhaps end up loving the game because they decided to give the game a shot on Game Pass!”
It’s true that Game Pass has made a big difference in how we approach games. “Xbox Game Pass definitely changed the landscape of video game publishing and distribution. The clear benefit to the service is that in a traditional distribution model, a gamer may never pick up some low budget indie games and focus solely on the newest major AAA title that was released. With Game Pass, it doesn’t make a difference one way or another for the gamer to try the huge diverse catalogue of games and play whatever they feel like on a given day,” Yang and Grossman go on to add. “This brings so much more exposure to smaller budget games that otherwise never would’ve been seen by the majority of gamers out there. We end up getting tons more fans who otherwise may never give Homestead Arcana a chance in a fully traditional publishing model.”
As they point out, subscription services like Game Pass are still a new innovation, and as a result, “it’s really difficult to speculate what risk and long term effects they may have. It’s certainly possible that in the far future, we may recognize that this new model drastically changes the nature of how art is created, much like how the mobile free-to-play landscape really shaped the content/engagement of mobile gaming. However, it’s way too early to tell at this point regarding Game Pass and what kind of risk it would have. I think one thing is for certain,” they continue, “and that is Game Pass is not only here to stay, but will grow with time. As game creators, what we care about is whether a specific publishing model is able to help support and distribute the art we wish to create. As far as we can tell, Game Pass is able to support us in providing us necessary resources in creating our art, and simultaneously distribute that art to a vast audience who otherwise may never try a narrative, emotionally impactful game like Homestead Arcana. For that, we’re grateful for the opportunity and only wish for its continued success.”
Homestead Arcana launches into Game Pass next month — if you’re looking to find out more about the magical farming game, keep an eye on TrueAchievements for part two of this interview, where we go into more detail about the game!
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