Ex-Lionhead developers announce new game, shelve new game, and confirm layoffs all at the same time

Flaming Fowl, the developer behind card battler Fable Fortune and the acclaimed Gloomhaven online game adaptation, has unveiled its new mission – however, in an uncommon transfer, has additionally introduced it is shelving improvement and confirmed layoffs at the studio all at the same time.

Flaming Fowl, which was based in 2016 by former members of unique Fable developer Lionhead Studios, launched into its rollercoaster of bulletins in a post on Steam, starting with a reveal for its new mission, often called Ironmarked – a “1-3 player co-op RPG with turn-based combat” – and the launch of an accompanying demo.

In an sudden and moderately sobering twist, nevertheless, Flaming Fowl instantly adopted Ironmarked’s unveiling with some unhappier information, revealing, “Unfortunately, due to the current lack of funding in the games industry, we are putting production on hold and have had to downsize the studio, letting go of some amazing people.”

Flaming Fowl additionally created the acclaimed adaptation of board sport Gloomhaven.Watch on YouTube

“Although this is a difficult and sad time for everyone involved,” the studio continued, “we are very proud of what we were creating and want to share that with all of you. We also hope that by releasing this demo, we can help those people leaving us to secure new roles elsewhere, by demonstrating their outstanding work on the project.”

Flaming Fowl CEO Craig Oman provided additional context for Ironmarked’s shelving and subsequent workers layoffs in an interview with VGC. “We’ve been working on the game for over a year,” he defined. “We had a publisher, but they pulled out last year around June, and we’ve been self-funding since August. We’ve been pitching to publishers since then, but they all said, ‘The game looks great, the team looks great, but we’re not signing anything right now’.”

“As soon as we finished Gloomhaven, we signed Ironmarked,” Oman continued. “We had multiple offers. But then a year and half later, we’ve gone back to a lot of the same publishers and they say they’re no longer looking for projects like this.”

Flaming Fowl’s lack of ability to safe additional funding has led to put offs and a dramatic discount in the dimension of its staff. “Friday was the last day for most of the people at the company,” Oman famous. “We’re down to about nine people now, from around 30 people we were working with. It’s been difficult… I just hope they all find work quickly, because that’s the really painful thing.”

As for the determination to release an Ironmarked demo, regardless of improvement having formally halted at Flaming Fowl, Oman defined, “I just wanted to the game to see the light of day. I’ve worked in the industry for a long time, and there’s been so many times projects have been put on ice and never come back. I really don’t want it to be another one of these game that never come out and only a handful of people ever know about them.”

According to Flaming Fowl’s Ironmarked announcement, there’s some small hope that “with enough wishlists on Steam [to present to publishers]” the studio “will be able to find funding in the future for Ironmarked”. In the meantime, the remaining staff members will deal with creating a small, self-funded technique title, with the studio giving itself till the finish of the 12 months to launch the mission.

“We’re being very clear in the messaging [for the Ironmarked demo],” Oman added, “that the project has been put on hold because of the financial situation in the industry. If players want to help bring it back to life, then the best thing to do is to Wishlist it on Steam… Wishlists are a hugely important thing for anyone trying to launch a game on Steam. It’s a metric you can go to publishers with that gives them a clear indication of the market you can tap into… they’re just so risk averse.”

Flaming Fowl’s present predicament has turn into an more and more acquainted one for sport improvement studios over the previous 12 months, with an ideal storm of occasions lately having result in dramatically lowered funding for new tasks, as Video’s Chris Dring just lately defined in an article for Eurogamer.

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