Hades, the roguelike action-RPG from indie studio Supergiant Games, was one of the biggest hits of 2020. After fully releasing in mid-September, it quickly gained a massive following, as well as universal acclaim among critics. There's no doubt that Hades is one of the smoothest roguelikes out there today, but it does have one big problem.
Hades originally launched in early access back in late 2018, as a Epic Store timed-exclusive. A year later, it also released on Steam, but still didn't come out of early access. Finally, in September 2020, Hades left early access on PC and also launched on the Nintendo Switch. However, while the game is now fully playable on PC and Switch, there's no indications that it's coming to any other platform yet.
The simplest answer to the question of why Hades launched on so few platforms is that Supergiant Games is an indie studio. With a staff of around 20 at the time of development, the studio decided that it couldn't handle simultaneous development on multiple platforms. Following the initial announcement of the game, Supergiant had spoken with Epic Games and learned of their intention to launch an independent store.
The studio decided that a launch on the Epic Games Store would be a boon for Hades, which led to the game being an Epic timed-exclusive. Since the game's release, it's been revealed that one of the things that attracted the indie studio to the Epic Store was its focus on content creators. Supergiant Games understood that Hades was the kind of game that would appeal to streamers, and wanted to capitalize on that interest.
Not content with garnering universal acclaim among critics and fans alike in the end of 2020, Hades also scored some major awards. At the two biggest video game awards of 2020, the Golden Joystick Awards and The Game Awards, Hades was nominated for over a dozen categories. At the Golden Joysticks, it claimed victory in the Best Indie Game and Critic's Choice categories, while at The Game Awards 2020 it picked up Best Indie and Best Action.
It's no secret that Hades is a great game and a fantastic example of its genre. However, what really makes it an ideal fit for a larger platform release is its accessibility. One of the frequent difficulties that developers face when porting PC games to consoles is how to map a keyboard-worth of controls onto a single controller. The slick simplicity of Hades' control scheme makes this a non-issue, particularly as the title has already been adapted for the Nintendo Switch's controller.
It should be no surprise that there are a lot of PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X owners out there that are anxious to see Hades come to their particular platforms. In fact, a rumor has recently come out that Hades will be coming to Xbox in 2021. Certainly, Supergiant Games is aware of the interest in its slick roguelike title. Shortly after the game's official launch, the studio's official twitter account responded to a question about PS4 and PS5.
While the response didn't go as far as confirming anything, it did say that the studio would be "considering opportunities to bring the game to additional platforms down the line." This may not have been a particularly strong commitment, but it's important to remember that this response was posted just days after the game's launch. It took a little while longer for the success of Hades' full release to become apparent, therefore giving Supergiant Games the impetus to allow the title to reach the largest possible audience.
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