Skull Island

Unsurprisingly, Skull Island: Rise of Kong Only Had One Year of Development Time

Due to Gamemill's provided budget, anywhere from 2 to 20 developer worked on the project across a year

Earlier this week, King Kong licensed game Skull Island: Rise of Kong was released, and the internet dragged it through the mud or memeing it to death as one of the worst games of the year; yes, even calling it worse than Gollum. Now it has come to light that this product was released dismally, as the publisher, Game Mill Entertainment, gave Chile-based indie developer IguanaBee a single year to develop the game, according to The Verge.

In an interview with the outlet, the developer revealed that the time window on the budget was not enough to express its vision fully. Work on Skull Island: Rise of Kong kicked off in June of last year, with the wrap-up on development time aimed to end on June 2nd of the following, said one developer. Additionally, the limitation of the licensed project doesn’t solely have to do with time itself but also GameMill’s restrictive circumstances, like the limited information provided, according to a former developer.

It doesn’t matter how talented any game studio is; one year is not enough time to create any title, especially when game development windows are blowing up to three, four or even five years. IguanaBee is part of that talented developer conversation with the Best Game: Latin America award at the Best International Games Festival for What Lies in the Multiverse under its belt alongside co-developer Studio Voyager.

This isn’t IguanaBee’s first one-year rodeo with GameMill, which also produced Little League World Series Baseball 2022 with the Minnesota-based publisher. Both circumstances were seemingly frustrating due to “the limited information we had on hand,” and the budget was insufficient to keep all hand staff on the project, leading to a dip in quality to PS3-like visuals that trended on Monday.

“I remember very well that they let go of a colleague who had been there longer than me. Deep down, I knew it was because the publisher didn’t provide them with enough funding to maintain a certain number of people for an extended period,” a developer said.

The Verge’s sources revealed that anywhere between two to twenty developers worked on Skull Island: Rise of Kong in the year of development. These work-for-hire licensed projects are a necessary evil as the developer wants to create original games. Still, a lack of funds makes that passion not possible, so that’s where the GameMill project comes in to help get the studio one step closer to that dream.

“It’s a love/hate relationship because they are the ones who accept or give the projects, and Iguanabee doesn’t have the means to develop almost anything on its own because, well, money,” a Skull Island: Rise of Kong said.

Even with all of Skull Island: Rise of Kong‘s bad press – hopefully, it’s targeted toward Gamemill rather than IguanaBee, as it would be great to see the developer create something magical under a budget with the exact time it needs. A Skull Island: Rise of Kong developer on Twitter said, “We had a great time developing it… proud of our monkey.”