The Double-Act of Raw Fury and Kingdom: A Beacon of Hope in the Gaming World

The moment that captured my imagination was not at a grand stage with blinding lights and booming soundtracks; it was a subtle, enchanting experience at a gaming exhibition. Among the multitude of screens, a small, pixelated scene of a crown-wearing figure on horseback, set against a wooded backdrop with a reflective water body, caught my eye. This was no ordinary game; it felt alive, its pixel art like pages from a mythical book come to life. The game, devoid of any explicit instructions, left me intrigued and mystified, exploring its world on horseback, engaging with its elements through coins, and facing unexpected nightly assaults that stripped me of my possessions, compelling me to start anew. This game was my introduction to Kingdom: New Lands, a title that signified the beginning of my fascination not just with the game itself, but with the studio behind it—Raw Fury.

Fast forward to a discussion in a cozy hotel bar post-event, I discovered that Raw Fury, an indie game publisher I had just learned about, was behind this captivating experience. This marked their freshman entry into the gaming world. Nearly a decade later, visiting Raw Fury’s headquarters in Stockholm, I found myself revisiting Kingdom, a title that has evolved but still retains the core magic that first drew me in.

What started as a pixel art experiment by Thomas van den Berg, also known as Noio, along with Marcus Banacle, alias Licorice, morphed over time into the Kingdom series—a refreshing take on the side-on tower defence genre. With its simple yet profound mechanics of expansion, defense, and exploration, the series has grown from its initial offering to include multiple expansions, each introducing novel themes and gameplay enhancements while maintaining the essence of discovery and beauty that defined the original.

The latest addition, Call of Olympus, ventures into Greek mythology, offering quests from the gods, leading troops in combat, and expanding the gameplay into an experience that borders on role-playing, with rideable mythical creatures and divine weaponry to wield. Yet, at its heart, Kingdom remains steadfast to its original allure—its pixel art more detailed and enchanting than ever, promising endless discovery in a world steadily expanding but always familiar.

Raw Fury’s journey with Kingdom is a testament to their ethos and vision. Acquiring the Kingdom IP in 2019, they’ve grown an internal team dedicated to its evolution, honoring its origins while pushing its boundaries. Beyond Kingdom, Raw Fury’s portfolio speaks volumes of their commitment to delivering unique, compelling stories, a diverse catalog echoing the rich tapestry of indie gaming.

As I wandered through Raw Fury’s offices, the vibrancy and variety of the games they’ve helped bring to life were evident, each a unique gem that has, without exception, garnered acclaim for its innovation and artistry. Titles like Sable, Call of the Sea, and Atomicrops showcase the publisher’s knack for nurturing indie games that resonate strongly with players, further cementing Raw Fury’s reputation in the gaming community.

What sets Raw Fury apart is not just their impressive catalog but their foundational beliefs: “Games are art. Treat people like people. Happiness before profit.” In an era marred by corporate greed and a focus on profit margins, Raw Fury stands as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that a different approach is not only possible but also thriving. Their success is a narrative counter to the industry’s larger tales of layoffs and studio closures, a reminder that placing art and humanity at the forefront of business can lead to fulfillment and success on multiple levels.

The story of Raw Cury and Kingdom is more than a tale of business triumph; it’s a beacon highlighting the importance of creativity, passion, and artistic integrity in an industry often overshadowed by its commercial aspects. This duo’s journey offers a valuable lesson on sustainability and the immense potential of indie gaming. It illustrates a path less traveled, where the artistic vision and the joy of creation are paramount.

In a landscape cluttered with challenges and uniformity, Raw Fury and Kingdom shine brightly, charting a course for others to follow. Their story is not just one of success but a call to action for the industry to rethink its priorities and embrace the art of gaming with sincerity and joy. As they continue to evolve and inspire, the duo’s journey stands as a testament to what is possible when creativity and compassion lead the way.

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