Pixelmage Games has announced its closure just a year after it started with founder John Smedley, formerly of Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak, pointing to poor Early Access sales of their debut game Hero's Song as a primary factor in the closure.
Hero's Song launched on Early Access in November and detail from SteamSpy suggest the game has just 6,333 owners, with just 805 playing it in the last two weeks. As I always say, SteamSpy isn't concrete data, but time and time again it has proven to be fairly accurate, and it paints a bleak picture for Hero's Song's uptake.
This wasn't the start of trouble for Hero's Song however. A Kickstarter earlier in the year for the game raised just $136,000 of its $800,000 goal before being cancelled and a later IndieGoGo campaign in September raised just $94,000 of its $200,000 goal. It dealt a severe blow to the ambitious game, which had already added epic fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss to its team, a sure sign of the game's ambitions.
Pixelmage released a statement on their closure, pledging full refunds to IndieGogo and Early Access customers.
"For the last year, our team has worked tirelessly to make the game we've dreamed about making, and with your support, and the support of our investors, we were able to get the game into Early Access. Unfortunately sales fell short of what we needed to continue development." said the statement.
"We knew going in that most startups don't make it, and as an indie game studio we hoped we would be the exception to that rule, but as it turned out we weren't."