Futurlabs and the unpublished sequel

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but back in August of last year, an article went up on GamesIndustry.biz about a sequel to Futurlabs fantastic Velocity 2X. The article stated the despite millions of downloads of Velocity 2X, no publisher is willing to publish a sequel to the really rather excellent Vita, PS4 and more recently Switch game. In fact, the developer even said in tweets that a sequel being released was heavily dependent upon the Switch version of 2X doing well.

So how did Futurlabs find themselves in this state?

Let’s go way back because I’ve been a fan of the studio for years. The first Velocity, a vertical scrolling shooter with a warp mechanic allowing for some element of puzzling, was originally launched on the PSP and PS3 in 2012, I waxed lyrical to anyone who would listen about it. It apparently did well enough and the studio remastered it in the form of Velocity Ultra, which was released on the PlayStation Vita exactly a year later. Then came Velocity 2X.

Velocity 2X featured the same vertical scrolling warp drive-based puzzling as Velocity/Velocity Ultra, except now you could get out of your craft and enter into some side-scrolling, on foot sections that were just as excellent and as full of ideas as the studio has shown in the original release of Velocity. The artwork to both games was absolutely gorgeous to boot and it was all topped off with an excellent soundtrack, seriously, go buy it if you don’t have it already, you will not be disappointed.

Between these, I played Surge Deluxe, a highly entertaining Match 3 puzzle game, again with an excellent soundtrack and visuals that fit in with the aesthetic of the Velocity games. I wasn’t as enamoured with it as I was the Velocity titles but I did get a lot of enjoyment out of it still, and I’m not normally someone who gets on well with Match 3 games.

Back to Velocity 2X then, as mentioned both above and in the GamesIndustry.biz article, it was downloaded millions of times, yet its actual sales are what is putting any prospective publisher off. Why? Well, PlayStation Plus. You see the game launched as a PS Plus title, so before Futurlab could even sell it, they’d made the decision to allow Sony to give it away, for a month, as part of their subscription model. So millions of people added it to their basket and then completed the “purchase” but after that month was over? Well, I can only assume it was slim pickings.

That’s not to say Futurlabs have been idle, as mentioned, Velocity 2X has been ported to the Switch, and since its release on PS Vita and other platforms (non-Sony/Nintendo platforms have been released by Activision) Futurlab have actually been working on the third game in the series, apparently dubbed Velocity Supernova.

I’ve tried to do a little digging (a quick search on Google) and all I can come up with is that Curve may or may not be interested in publishing it, they published the Switch release of 2X, but for now I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how Futurlab do with their Peaky Blinders game that’s due for release next year.

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