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It’s Time

It’s a strange time to be making video games. From before establishing Big Blue Sky Games through putting the final touches on Merchants of Rosewall, we were waking up to seemingly endless news of layoffs and studio closures. We had this mission to do things differently – to attract and retain a diverse group of people and help them grow as developers. We’re still on that mission, but it feels even more important than it did short years ago. 

So off we went: dangerous business, out your door, and so on. We assembled a crew that was both deeply talented and simultaneously taking their first run at this – at the notion we could build games in an ever-so-slightly different fashion. We did the research, found something we thought we could put a fresh spin on, and poured soul into it. 

Merchants of Rosewall is a postcard to ourselves. It’s places we’ve been; people we’ve known; stories we’ve heard; ideals we cherish. It’s a game that met us where we were at a time when everything felt frictious and we wanted something – anything, really – to be straightforward and uncomplicated. One thing that didn’t make you weigh the opportunity cost of your absence. A simple joy in a sea of melancholy. 

We made Merchants to push back against the darkness, just a little bit. To talk about capitalism, and climate change, and defy preconceived notions. We imagined a world and then challenged ourselves to make it as believable as humanly (elvishly?) possible. Most of all, we tried to tuck little touches away throughout it that will bring you moments of joy. 

I can’t wait for you to hire your first corkgnome, or to craft your first Dwarven Dodgeball. I hope you spend hours painstakingly customizing your shop, or lose yourself in the rich tapestry of our fantastical story. Maybe you’ll find a companion along the way whose background feels familiar – or, better still, one that helps you see things from a new perspective. The delightful hand-painted art really ties the rooms together, too. 

There’s more to this story. To the team full of people who fought to be here, doing this, and doing it together. To the dream that we can make these experiences that might become fond, shared memories for friends who don’t know each other yet. We’re just getting started, and I hope you’ll come with us on the next leg of this spectacular journey. 

Let’s fly. 

  • Kevin Hovdestad, Game Director 
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