Swedish studio Forgotten Key is closing after seven years.
"It’s with a heavy heart we have decided to prepare a shutdown of Forgotten Key, the place we have called home for the last [seven] years," wrote boss Robin Hjelte via a blog post. "We have grown from [four] to 14, had the pleasure to receive several prestigious awards, and we have worked with some of the industries biggest and finest. Now we are at roads end, and without a dramatic turn of events we will very soon close the doors to our studio."
Hjelte added the award-winning studio’s primary focus "is to find good homes for the worlds we have built", particularly AER Memories of Old, which it hopes will remain available "on every released platform indefinitely". Its "second focus" is to "find homes for all our talented developers". A list of the affected developers, and details on how to contact them, is available on the blog post.
"The questions we ask ourselves are ‘Where did we take the wrong turns? Why couldn’t we find partners who were willing to invest in our ideas, despite awards and proven talent? What could and should we have done differently?’" Hjelte added. "The answers are probably many and nuanced, where we will surely fall to whatever the opposite of survival bias is called when trying [to] find explanations. One answer is probably the markets development, another personal misjudging of priorities, and a third the inherent problem between making business out of creativity and art."
This latest closure sadly comes on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen in the last few months, most recently Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale developer, Define Human Studios, Daybreak, Starbreeze, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds, best known for its MMO games. The media too has been affected, with the shuttering of leading strategy guides publisher Prima Games and Future’s GamesMaster and games™ magazines.
Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff in a ‘majority studio closure’ back in September. 25 employees remained at the company, though most projects have reportedly been cancelled, and subsequent reports suggest even the skeleton crew have now been let go. The layoffs were confirmed via a tweet on the official Telltale Games account, blaming a year ‘marked by insurmountable challenges’ for the decision.