Another year has seemingly rushed by and we have not been idle! We started 2019 with a bunch of challenges. Early Access in 2018 Q4 did not yield enough gamer feedback and I took the controversial step to release an unfinished game in chapters, going for a You-Get-It-As-We-Complete-It approach to releasing.
I had some good reasons for doing this, partly it was to test a new release model for story-based games and partly it was this analysis on why early access is pivotal to success in game development. This bet paid off in spades for us.
Blood Bond — Into the Shroud
Over 6000 people played the early stage of the game. We got lots of usable viable feedback and clearly focused my dev efforts on features and game development priorities on what the community really wanted. Not just from a visual and performance point of view, but even from features and gameplay point of view — the collaboration between me and the community in feedback loops took Blood Bond — Into the Shroud from strength to strength.
We aimed to get the game out in full by Dec 2019. We failed at that. But we will be releasing in Jan 2020 and it's going to be the game I always wanted it to be — and the game the community wants it to be.
Jordenheim — The RPG
But that is not all we have been up to. Behind Blood Bond is the lore filled, richly detailed universe of Jordenheim. Over Q3 and Q4 of 2019 we have had a writing and art team working on turning it into a pen and paper RPG. We are on track for a Q2 2020 release of the first Core Rule Book and its available for Pre-Order today.
The Growth of W.R.K.S Games
One of our key successes this year was in fleshing out our team in the virtual global studio that is W.R.K.S Games with the talent pool and team that we need to achieve the goals I have set for the business. What was a small team of 4 people three years ago has now grown to 14, with ten stellar individuals from around the world now on the running payroll. A proud day for any entrepreneur to see the company coming to life this way and I am very pleased to welcome this year:
Florian Herold (coming back), Dominik Derow, Radu Vulpe, Dan Cross, Lionel Arucy, Tigran Bleyan, Alma Spahr, Eva Aldea, Christian van der Wijst and Cattie Thompson.
Joining the existing team of myself, Cornelia Booysen, Sebastian Bielecki and Christoph Barth.
I feel the company is very well set to take on 2020 and beyond and the coming together of the full W.R.K.S team to be able to do all our production needs in-house is one of the big success milestones of this year.
Looking ahead to 2020
We have much to look forward to. We have teased the next two games in the Blood Bond series. Jarl of Guillon and Raising Hel begin concept work and production in 2020 and are aimed at 2021 and 2022 releases. Keep an eye on that on the Play Blood Bond website. We will open the website sections for the next two games next year.
We will tease our second universe in the W.R.K.S Games portfolio with a slew of art and a website by late 2020.
We will reveal the first animated comic for the Jordenheim universe….and if everything goes according to plan — the first live-action short film in the Jordenheim universe will come to our YouTube channel.
2020 will also be the year our video production comes alive and we intend to bring regular video production to our YouTube channel.
Thank You to the Community
None of this would have been possible without the community and the awesome talent that joined the company.
My thanks go out to the hundreds of people that joined us on social media and Discord and supported our endeavors. On Steam, I am grateful to the 6000+ gamers that have played the game in the unpolished state it was in early this year and instead of refunding it or panicking — worked with me to make it better and participated in the foundation that has become W.R.K.S Games today. Those 4000 that over the last two years have joined the wishlist and are waiting to get the game in January — we see you and appreciate your patience.
On the home front, my appreciation goes out to the small and dedicated team of talent that is the W.R.K.S team that took a chance on working for a fledgling startup that aspired to be more and whose hard work made it all possible.
A shout out to the marketing reps for Alienware and Steelseries who worked with us on a marketing campaign that bought hundreds of great gaming fans to us — we loved the collaboration!
And last but not least a special thank you to my business partner James Towning, who stepped in to support us when we needed it this year.
We look forward to creating awesome gaming experiences for you and our future entrants into our community across a spread of platforms and gaming avenues and continuing to grow the family that is W.R.K.S Games.
Founder and CEO