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Echo developer Ultra Ultra shuts down

Independent developer Ultra Ultra has announced it is closing down.

The Copenhagen-based studio – formed by a team of IO Interactive alumni – created Echo, the well-received sci-fi stealth game Echo with the intriguing premise of studying a player’s play-style to use against them.

It did not expand on why the studio was closing, but subsequent tweets about game sales “hopefully turning the numbers black at some point” intimate the game might not have generated the sales necessary to keep the company solvent.

“We’re terribly sad to report that Ultra Ultra has ceased to exist,” said a brief tweet on the company’s official Twitter account (thanks, Eurogamer). “We are grateful to have had the chance to crystallize something truly from the heart. Echo will remain available on stores.”

Subsequent tweets went on to confirm the movie adaptation remains “in the works”, and that the studio was “talking with” Epic about “probably” bringing Echo to the Epic Games Store.

When asked if sales generated after the closure would still go to the team, Ultra Ultra responded: “It goes to the people who believed in us and made the game possible, hopefully turning the numbers black at some point.”

These latest layoffs sadly come on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen across studios and media in recent months. Digital retailer GOG recently laid off “a dozen” positions, purported to be around 10 per cent of its workforce, and only a month after reportedly laying off an “undisclosed number” of staff from its American San Mateo studio, Iron Tiger Studios, South Korean online game publisher NCSoft has announced it will be making “staff reductions” at Guild Wars 2 developer, ArenaNet, too. Finnish studio Next Games also announced it is laying off 26 staff after it reviewed “the cost structure of the company’s operations”, and Activision recently laid off 8 per cent of its staff – 775 people.

Other closures include AER Memories of Old developer, Forgotten Key, Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale developer, Define Human Studios, Daybreak, Starbreeze, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds, best known for its MMO games. Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff in a ‘majority studio closure’ back in September.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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