London-based developer Failbetter has released a blog post detailing a litany of issues the company faced throughout the last year. These have resulted in the delay of its next game, Sunles Skies, and the redundancy of four people within the company. Despite this, Failbetter is keen to make clear that it is “in no danger of failing to deliver Sunless Skies, and never has been”.
Sales of Sunless Skies on Steam Early Access were only 15 per cent of its predecessor, Sunless Seas in a comparable time period. Failbetter puts this down to releasing the game too early, losing an important opportunity to get people talking about the game.
“In hindsight, we went into Early Access too early,” says the developer’s communications director Hannah Flynn in the blog post. “The game wasn’t immediately ready for media attention, we lost a key promotional moment; people aren’t talking about the game as much as we’d hope.
“The marketplace is also hugely different to the last time we launched an Early Access game (in 2014), and Sunless Skies just isn’t as visible as Sunless Sea was. The success of our Kickstarter probably also led to fewer people buying it at EA launch, which will have made it less visible on storefronts; thousands of people had already picked up their copy.”
As part of Failbetter’s attempts to streamline the company, which includes the redundancy consultancy process, the developer is sunsetting the Fallen London mobile app due to development issues and a lack of audience. On the plus side, the Fallen London website will be revitalised, allowing it to work far better on mobiles. Failbetter will also be discontinuing its developer fund, Fundbetter, for the time being until things pick up.
For more details be sure to check the blog post over at the official Failbetter website.