While speaking with Joystiq at PAX East, Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik was asked where Episode 3 of the 4-part series was. “There won’t be an Episode 3,” states Krahulik. It appears that is the official demise for a great little game. This also brings to mind issues of episodic content, or planning a game’s story out over multiple intervals (think Shenmue and the Half-Life episodes long layovers).
It is suspected that lousy sales of the second episode (reportedly only reaching 1/3 the first episode’s sales) were so lackluster the duo and Hothead Studios decided to let the series go to rest. This is a shame because the games are of excellent quality.
When asked to elaborate on why there will be no Episode 3, Jerry Holkins responded with the following statement:
"[The game's developer] Hothead has DeathSpank and they have a chance to do something really cool with it, and they need to have an opportunity to make it incredible. They definitely could've done both games. I think they could've made DeathSpank and Episode 3 but I think Episode 3 would've suffered. I mean, I know it would have suffered. So we'd rather not do it than do it half-assed and so we're going to finish that story but it's going to be on our website."
The game may be finished, and that is a bittersweet, but it takes away from the enjoyment I received playing the story. It won't be the same reading the conclusion as it would have been playing it. It is quite possible its high price point was an issue getting the game out there, but this Newshound felt that the price point was perhaps its only hurdle. The games still contained much of the same charm you can find in the Penny Arcade webcomic combined with gameplay reminiscent of an old SNES RPG.
I think the biggest hurt comes from the realization this is probably the only XBLA game that plays like an old RPG, a genre barely represented in the XBLA catalog.
Penny Arcade Episodes 1 and 2 are still available on the Marketplace.