Despite 'Mixed' launch, beloved Metroidvania dev cites Baldur's Gate 3 and Hades 2 in claiming that going Early Access for its new RPG is "one of the best decisions we could've made"

A screenshot of a bearded individual holding a bird in No Rest for the Wicked.
(Image credit: Private Division)

No Rest for the Wicked's director has cited Baldur's Gate 3 and Hades 2 as examples of how early access launches can be fantastic, and said releasing in early access is "one of the best decisions we could've made."

Moon Studios' new action-RPG has been on the tongues of a lot of people since last week's launch - from Blizzard's ex-president saying it's the future of the genre, to No Rest for the Wicked players themselves being lukewarm on it at launch. Most of those negative reviews, however, are seemingly down to a localization bug that stopped Chinese and Japanese text from appearing

Despite the mixed launch, No Rest for the Wicked's director Thomas Mahler has zero regrets about going via the early access route for the new action-RPG. In the lengthy tweet below, Mahler says the early access launch was "one of the best decisions" Moon Studios could've made, and believes we'll see more early access launches going forward.

Why does Mahler think we'll see a swing towards early access launches? Because games are becoming "more and more complex and sophisticated." That's a common sentiment around the games industry over the last few years, as production budgets for AAA spiral north of $200 million in some cases, and Mahler believes the answer is an early access launch.

"Even if we'd have two [or] three times the staff, it would have been quite simply impossible, the product is just way too complex of a beast to reasonably expect that," Mahler added of No Rest for the Wicked's need for extensive testing. The early access launch has given Moon Studios near-endless "data" that the action-RPG simply couldn't have launched in 1.0 without, Mahler adds.

Mahler even looks back on older games, writing that he believes FromSoftware's modern classic Dark Souls could've benefitted from an early access launch, instead of "[FromSoftware] rushing to ship a boxed product in a somewhat unfinished state." Mahler believes that, with an early access launch, FromSoftware would've been able to "fully form and polish the less polished areas like Lost Izalith."

Despite this all, Mahler knows a lot of people are "irked" about games like Baldur's Gate 3 and Hades 2 launching in early access, but he believes early access launches allows teams to scope features and content properly before a full launch, rather than just cutting content in a desperate attempt to release. "I'm confident that we will see games being created through Early Access programs that would've never been made without EA," Maher concludes.

No Rest for the Wicked dev explains that its ARPG is - and isn't - like Dark Souls by giving players the "crazy" moves usually reserved for Soulslike bosses.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.