What Went Wrong with Skull Island: Rise of Kong? A Look at the Game’s Troubled Development

Skull Island: Rise of Kong, the highly anticipated King Kong video game, has been met with scathing reviews, being labeled as one of the worst games of 2023. The game, released earlier this week, has left many wondering what went wrong. A recent report sheds light on the development process and the challenges faced by the team behind the game.

Developed by IguanaBee, a small indie studio based in Santiago, Chile, Skull Island: Rise of Kong was a project undertaken on a tight budget and with limited resources. The game was created by a small team of developers within a span of just one year, which posed serious constraints on the process of making a quality game.

According to anonymous developers who spoke with The Verge, Skull Island’s publisher, Game Mill, set a deadline of one year for the development process, starting in June 2022 and scheduled to end on June 2023. This limited timeframe put immense pressure on the team, making it nearly impossible to create a game that was both good and made quickly and cheaply.

It was also revealed that Game Mill frequently relies on smaller teams of developers to create licensed video games within similarly short timeframes. This approach, while cost-effective for the publisher, often leads to issues such as a lack of sufficient information and resources for the development teams.

Devs at IguanaBee claimed that Game Mill didn’t provide them with all the necessary information about the project, which caused frustration and forced the team to improvise with the limited information they had. Additionally, sources revealed that Game Mill did not allocate enough funds for IguanaBee to maintain a large and skilled staff of developers. Throughout most of Skull Island’s development, only a small number of people, ranging from two to 20, were working on the game, causing a significant strain on the team.

The limited time and resources also led to a crunch period, where developers had to work long hours under intense pressure to meet the deadline. One anonymous developer stated that the crunch began in February and had a significant toll on the team. The developer remarked that they felt like they were on automatic pilot by the end of February due to the overwhelming nature of the project.

Despite the challenges, some members of the team still take pride in what they were able to accomplish within the given constraints. One former developer even shared on social media that they were “proud” of IguanaBee’s King Kong game.

Skull Island: Rise of Kong’s poor reception highlights the difficulties faced by small development teams working on limited budgets and schedules. The game serves as a reminder of the importance of allowing ample time and resources for the creation of quality video games. It also raises questions about the ethical responsibilities of publishers in providing the necessary support and resources to ensure the success of their projects.

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