Independent developer, Wish Studios, has announced today that it is closing down. The closure affects 13 full-time staff.
The Brighton-based studio was founded in 2012 by Caspar Field, Tom Bennett and Paul Brooke, and is best known for its PlayLink range of games, including Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe’s first PlayLink title, That’s You!. The company reports it had been "seeking a publishing deal for one of its two new projects, alongside a search for other funding opportunities", but was unsuccessful in securing a deal.
"We are deeply saddened at having to close Wish, after six-and-a-half years of making great games. Our ethos was to put the team and their creativity at the heart of everything we did; having to say goodbye to those people has been an unbelievably difficult thing to do. It is truly heart-breaking," said Wish CEO, Caspar Field, via a statement released today.
“We would like to thank the Wish team, past and present, for their incredible contributions, and hope that they’ll carry the best of what Wish was into their future careers. We’d also like to thank Sony for believing in the PlayLink concept, and, more than anything else, we’d like to thank all those who played and enjoyed our games – because that’s what it’s all about."
Wish Studios won GamesIndustry.biz’s ‘Best Places to Work’ award in 2017 and 2018, and at its peak, employed over 35 people. It maintains it "consulted fully" with its staff throughout the redundancy process and "is assisting them in finding work in the local area and beyond".
These latest layoffs sadly come on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen across studios and media in recent months. Just this week, digital retailer GOG 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 recently 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. The media too has been affected, with the shuttering of leading strategy guides publisher Prima Games and Future’s GamesMaster and games™ magazines.