The Team Behind Ashen Explains Their Change Of Launch Plans


Ashen, a game that I’m completely in love with surprised everyone yesterday by launching exclusively on Epic Game’s new storefront.

Which also confused many people, as the game wasn’t available on Steam or the Microsoft store, but was originally supposed to be. So what happened? Well, that’s what I wanted to know, so we reached out to the developer, A44 (formerly named Aurora44) and publisher, Annapurna Interactive. Obviously, we weren’t the only ones and as such the teams released an official explanation as to their change of plans.

As many of you are aware, some members of our community have questions about the launch strategy and initial platform availability for Ashen, which we would like to discuss before boarding the long flight back to New Zealand. Let’s begin with the Windows 10 availability in the Microsoft Store. The Xbox One launch of Ashen could not have been a better success story, in our opinion, and Microsoft has been unbelievably supportive throughout the development of Ashen. We are currently working with our partners at Microsoft and the ID@Xbox team on bringing Ashen to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 as soon as possible. We wholeheartedly agree that this would have been better available day one. We are a small studio that just shipped a very big game, but have been actively working to get it there.
Rest assured, it is coming. Launching on the Epic Games Store is a unique opportunity that does not come around for an indie title like ours very often. Our publisher, Annapurna Interactive, approached us with a unique opportunity from Epic Games to make Ashen a hallmark title for their store’s launch. As a developer we want as many players as possible to have the opportunity to play Ashen. A big part of that is having Ashen featured in a place that isn’t crowded and at an exciting time when a great new platform, one that genuinely wants to do the best for developers and players alike, first launches. The promotion we are and will be receiving from our partners at Epic is tremendous. It is incredibly rare to have an opportunity like this, and we are honored and proud to have earned this opportunity. This was not a decision that was made lightly.
Epic Games have been with us from the very start, with us having received a huge amount of support from their Unreal team in addition to a development grant when we were first starting. Ashen would not have existed had they not believed in us from the beginning. We have so much heartfelt gratitude for the helping hand they have shown, and we are honored to be a premier launch title on a platform that is so important to them.
Right now you can play Ashen on all the hardware we have promised since day one. We know that is not enough for everyone. We will be coming to other platforms in the future. If you must wait for those, we totally understand. We are super proud of the game and hope you will enjoy it whenever and wherever you play it.
So, as it stands we’ll still see Ashen make its way to the Microsoft Store and Steam. It’s just a matter of when at this point. However, even with this explanation, the fact that they decided to delay the original plans is still frustrating to its fans. Sure, we understand what Epic Games is trying to do – level the playing field and put more money in the pockets of the developers. Definitely, something we all can get behind. Yet, when it causes changes like this and without any notification ahead of time. That just sends a bad message.
Ashen is now available in the Epic Games store, as well as on the Xbox One for $39.99 or free with Xbox Game Pass.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.