Toki Tori developer Two Tribes has said that it is calling time on game development following the release of its next title Rive.
The studio will remain operational and continue to support its existing games, but it has no plans to release any further games.
In a long statement, the Dutch studio noted the changed landscape for developers. When it launched in 2000 it was hard to release titles due to the need for a publishing partner, and the lack of middleware meant development itself was far trickier.
The big change happened around 2008, when new technologies and tools allowed developers to make games way more easily and faster,” it explained. Suddenly, because of digital distribution, small developers were able to create and publish their own games without the help of big publishers. Initially this was great for us, as we were one of the first developers to enter the Steam, WiiWare and iOS markets. Business was good. We were on the shortlists of companies like Nintendo and Valve.
But the situation didn't last. While we were working on Toki Tori 2+ for two years, the industry was changing without us realizing it. The market was flooded with games by developers from all around the world. With game changers such as the Humble Bundle, the ever-continuing race to the bottom and a growing focus on free-to-play games, it became tough for a game to even hit the break-even point.
The industry had moved on and we were still stuck in the past. We learned this the hard way, when most of our employees needed to be laid off in 2013.”
Two Tribes notes that none of this is meant as an attack on the industry.
We've been working in the games industry since early 2000, making us dinosaurs, old farts, grandfathers or whatever you want to call us,” it said. This is great, because we've got a lot experience, but it also means that we act like a typical grandfather: slow and totally unaware of what is hot and what is not.
Long story short (grandfathers like to digress!): when running a company, you need to be on top of your game, not just in terms of the product you're making, but business-wise too. And we just aren't on top of the games business anymore. Therefore, it makes sense to focus our attention elsewhere, perhaps even outside the games industry.”