Penny Arcade Adventures tearing up Mac App Store charts, Ep. 3 still unlikely

Just four days after the launch of the Mac App Store, some developers are finding unexpected success. The first two episodes of Hothead Games' truncated Penny Arcade Adventures trilogy are currently ranking high in the bestselling apps chart at number 21 and 56, respectively (and certainly boosted by their $4 sale prices). This prompted the developer to tweet, "We're thrilled that Precipice of Darkness has been doing well on the Mac App Store!"

While that was heartening, it was the now-pulled followup tweet (screen-capped above) that raised eyebrows: "For those of you that want PA Episode 3, all you need to do is get 100,000 of your friends to buy 1&2. Seriously. Do that and we'll make it," a Hothead staffer wrote. Turns out that's not quite the case.

"That's certainly news to me!" Penny Arcade biz dude Robert Khoo told Joystiq, adding, "there's nothing new to say about future [episodes]." Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik responded to Hothead's tweet, stating simply, "that's actually not true."

Hothead's Vince Ceraldi cleared up the confusion, telling us, "That was a very enthusiastic, excited but misplaced tweet regarding Ep. 3. This is probably the result of the entire company being so thrilled on how well received the games have been on the Mac App Store." Ciraldi said that the Mac App Store "is a great tool for us as game makers to reach new gamers" who may not have known about Penny Arcade Adventures. As for the suggestion that enough sales of the first two games could drive development of a third game, Ciraldi said, "As for the PA games, I can honestly say we don't know what the future holds," adding that the "obvious fan enthusiasm is extremely encouraging and rewarding, but there is no 'number' that is going to trigger any next steps."

And sales alone may not be enough to prompt Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins to get back into the game's development ... err, the game itself. At PAX Prime last September, when asked if and when we might learn what caused the cancellation of the third episode, Krahulik told Joystiq, "I think the problem is that we're too polite." Holkins added, "Believe that. I know it seems strange," and then Krahulik continued, "If you can imagine a world where that's a reality, we are too polite to say exactly what happened."

Upon announcing the cancellation of the third episode last March, Holkins told Joystiq, "[Hothead] definitely could've done both games," alluding to the amount of energy the developer was putting into DeathSpank. "I think they could've made DeathSpank and Episode 3, but I think Episode 3 would've suffered," he added. "I mean, I know it would have suffered. So we'd rather not do it than do it half-assed, and so we're going to finish that story, but it's going to be on our website."

In September, expanding on that comment, Holkins said, "At the core of that is that we reserve the right to not disappoint our readers. I reserve that right, as a creator, as an individual, if I think that something is not going to please you, I reserve the right not to make it. That's the pact; that if I think that it's not going to be what you like or what you want, then I can't make it with a straight face."

So it's possible, and maybe even probable, that no matter how how much success Penny Arcade Adventures finds on Apple's Mac App Store, we'll never see that third episode. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider the sale-priced episodes unworthy of your time, just don't expect to be rewarded with a shiny new third episode for your support. For now, you'll have to settle for the non-interactive version.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.