Promising a surreal, narrative-focused episodic interactive experience, Kôna has changed quite a bit since it got successfully funded September last year. With the first episode named “Day One” and focusing on the story of a private detective having to uncover some mystery in Québec, it’s quite the intriguing concept to begin with – one putting the emphasis on its story while also encompassing more open, survival-based gameplay.
However, it’s all become rather ambitios in the past year or so, with plenty of delays to prove it. An update from February this year stated that the release of Kôna would be some time during November 2015, with another announcement pointing towards the game having an early closed beta as opposed to the developers going for an early access approach. In fact, back then Parabole’s words on going for an Early Access route were the following: “we discussed and realized that delivering an Early Access only 3 months prior to the actual release might cause more harm than good to our goal.”
Well, with yet another delay and six months later, it looks like Kôna will be visiting Early Access next year, on January 19 to be more specific. Québec based developers Parabole have a few good reasons for doing so, such as the studio growing twice its size in addition to a whole slew of new content requiring a bunch of bug testing for the final game to be up to scratch. The team also mentions that their decision came to be partially due to the slower than anticipated negotiations they are currently having with an unnamed publisher, more specifically having to do with handling Kôna’s marketing.
By the looks of it we are mostly looking at a financial issue, as this isn’t the first time the team has looked at the prospect of Early Access. Back then, their plan was spoiled by a $215,000 CAD investment from the Canada Media Funds, but it seems that now the case is different.
In the end of the day though, it’s nice that we get to see the developers’ thought-process behind making such decisions. Plus, developing games also costs a lot of money. Who knew?