The cancellation of the final DLC package for Enter the Gungeon, the roguelike indie darling from developer Dodge Roll, is both a shame and a blessing.
On the one hand, it’s always fairly sad when a game – especially one as enjoyable as Gungeon – meets its naturalend. But that cancellation may well have saved Dodge Roll from their own destruction.
Naturally, Dodge Roll has made great strides in their skill and programming expertise over the five or so years they’ve been making Gungeon. While this may be a good thing, their recent work has been hampered by Gungeon’s “shaky” engine and the shortcuts they took when building the game as novice developers.
Developing new content for the game had become less about creating new things so much as an intimate bug-fixing extravaganza, discovering fundamental flaws that hadn’t been noticed prior to their re-examination of the game as a whole.
All they were doing was making more and more Gungeon, battling with a flawed system of their own design.
As you can imagine, therefore, making expansions for Gungeon was an absolute nightmare. The latest major expansion that the team at Dodge Roll actually managed to release, Advanced Gungeons and Draguns, was extremely wearing on staff: the developer considered cancelling it multiple times, and was delayed almost a year as a result.
This was also cutting into the developers’ energy and time to develop new projects. All they were doing was making more and more Gungeon, battling with a flawed system of their own design.
While it’s a shame we’re not going to be seeing any more development on Gungeon’s top-down gun bonanza after a final, free content patch drops in the near future, you can't knock Dodge Roll for doing what’s best for them. There’s few things worse for a developer than being stuck making a game they hate because others love it.