Fans of ngmoco’s popular iPhone platforming game Rolando won’t be getting the long-awaited third instalment in the series. Originally scheduled for a November 2009 release, ngmoco CEO Neil Young has confirmed in an interview with IGN that Rolando 3 is no longer in development, citing disappointing sales of Rolando 2 and a changing business model as the driving forces behind the decision.
The success of ngmoco’s free-to-play titles Touch Pets Dogs and Eliminate Pro have prompted the company to shift its development focus on free-to-play experiences only, says Young. “When we made the decision to go free-to-play, we said to ourselves, ‘Look. If we can’t make the game free-to-play, we’re not going to release it.’ And Rolando 3 as it was envisioned at that time was not a free-to-play product, so we’ve just taken the time to try to figure out how to do that franchise really effectively in free-to-play space.”
While ngmoco has not stated specific plans for future Rolando titles, Young tells IGN that a free-to-play version of the title is a distinct possibility; “we’re thinking about it, and at the appropriate moment we’ll deliver a new Rolando experience that takes full advantage of everything we’ve learned from the free-to-play world.”