The Rocky Reception of Skull Island: Rise of Kong: Where High Hopes Meet Reality
Released just this week, Skull Island: Rise of Kong has swiftly become a hot topic on social media—but not for reasons the developers might have hoped for. While many Kong fans in the gaming world eagerly anticipated the game's release, the outcome appears to be lackluster, with various elements seemingly unfinished.
From Static Images to Shovelware
Soon after its launch, social media platforms like Twitter became a hysterical battleground for critiques of the game's poor presentation.
One particularly striking video (above), liked over 50,000 times, showcases a cut-scene where, instead of a finished animation, a static image abruptly appears on-screen. In another video shared by a dedicated King Kong fan account, a combat sequence was labeled as "low effort shovelware," pointing to a disappointing level of game development.
Pricing and Discounts: Does It Justify the Quality?
The game retails at $49.99 on the PlayStation Store, but PS Plus members are given a slight reprieve with a 25% discount ($37.49 Woohoo!!). On Steam it's listed at $39.99 but has an Introductory Offer bringing the total down to $31.99. Given the game's underwhelming presentation so far, I'd argue the company should be paying the gamer to even waste time playing it.
Developer and Publisher Background
Skull Island: Rise of Kong was developed by Chile-based IguanaBee, known for their work on several niche console games.
The game's publisher, GameMill Entertainment, has claimed on its website to have "a proven track record" for delivering high-quality games, working closely with developers "to nimbly bring to life games that delight die-hard and casual gamers alike." These promises make the game's shaky debut a clear bold-faced lie.
While the long-awaited Skull Island: Rise of Kong had the potential to be a hit using such a well-known IP, its launch has instead raised questions about its quality and completeness. As gamers debate whether the game is a tribute to past consoles or a mishap to be forgotten, one thing is clear—the game has failed to meet LITERALLY ANY expectations set by both its developers and its fans.
Whether the game's developers will address these issues in updates or patches remains to be seen. But for now, Skull Island: Rise of Kong serves as yet another example for both developers and gamers about the pitfalls of high expectations meeting an underprepared reality.