Two arcade twin-stick shooters, Waves and Waves 2: Notorious, have been made free to play after their creator sadly passed away from cancer. Squid in a Box, whose real name was Rob, died two weeks ago, and the free to play transition is described by their partner as a "parting gift".
Why have Waves and Waves 2 been made free to play?
Over on Steam, Squid in a Box's partner CJ details the decision to make Waves and Waves 2 free to play. CJ says that Rob was considering making the two games free anyway "as their health entered into more substantial difficulties", and so they are hoping that this "parting gift" will be appreciated by anyone who hasn't yet played the two shooters. There's also a rather moving eulogy for Rob in the post that describes their work on the Waves games and how CJ felt supporting them through that work.
CJ describes Rob as passionate about their work, sometimes to a fault; occasionally, Rob would "shoot for the moon and miss", which is also likely why Waves 2 wasn't completed before their untimely passing. It's clear that CJ doesn't have plans to recruit another developer to work on Waves 2; according to them, Rob's work on the game will "definitely remain incomplete". However, Rob's legacy will be the many hours of "chill, challenge, and possibly even frustration" that the games bring to players, and CJ says they hope players can still feel the "passion and love" that Rob poured into the games.
It's been a pretty sad few months for the games industry in terms of figures we've unfortunately lost. Back in July, both Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi and Hell Let Loose producer James Light passed away, both far too young (Takahashi was 60 and Light was 28). Of course, the best way to honor the legacy of these figures who have departed too soon is to play the games they poured their hearts and souls into, so in that spirit, I'd recommend giving Waves and Waves 2 a try on Steam, and keep Squid in a Box and CJ in your thoughts as you do so.