League of Geeks has paused development on Jumplight Odyssey “indefinitely”, as the studio cuts 50 percent of its workforce.
In a Blog update, studio director Trent Kusters called this a “devastating position” for the team to find themselves in.
“Though our commitment to our beloved starship adventure sim is unwavering, rapidly rising operation costs, a worsening AUD/USD exchange rate, poor Early Access sales, and the unprecedented withdrawal of funding opportunities across the industry, have placed us in a position where, As it currently stands, we are unable to sustain the cost of operations through to the release of v1.0, which was planned for Q2 of 2024,” Kusters wrote.
The director stated as a result, the studio has had to go through the “traumatic process of saying goodbye to many of [its] closest friends and colleagues at League of Geeks”. These layoffs have affected members across the entire organization, including all of the Jumplight Odyssey team, as well as those in the studio’s publishing and operations departments.
Kusters stated the team is still working on one more patch for Jumplight Odyssey before development is ceased, for the time being at least.
“Our goal with this coming update (v0.3.1) is to make Jumplight Odyssey feel as complete as we possibly can in the incredibly short time we have left on the project – including bringing in a couple things we were holding back for v1.0 ”
The developer noted that this news will not impact its other games, such as February’s Solium Infernum launch or the existing support it offers Armello players.
Further down in the post, Kusters acknowledges that many players may feel let down by this news.
“You’re entitled to be frustrated, sad, devastated and everything in between. I am too. All of those things. We all are at League of Geeks,” the director wrote, stating the studio found itself in an “impossible situation” that led to a “heartbreaking decision.”
Kusters continued: “Your frustrations are also totally valid – the only thing I ask is that you direct them at myself and not the team, they’ve been through more than enough already
“We don’t want this to be the end of Jumplight Odyssey. If investment in the project becomes a reality, and the conditions exist where it is financially possible for us to boot this game back up, we absolutely will. The grim reality however , is that at least for right now, it’s a very scary time (economically) for indie developers of our size.”
For the next 12 months, the developer will be contributing half of Jumplight Odyssey’s sales profits to members of the team, including those who have been laid off. If development on the game picks up before then, this will cease.
“LoG was literally founded on the belief that those who contribute to our projects should share in the spoils of our success, so it’s important to us that we continue to live that value,” Kusters said. “It’s at least some way we can honor our friends and colleagues who have given so much to this game, and for new players to support the folks who made it special in the first place.”
In further conversation with Eurogamer’s sister site GamesIndustry.bizKusters said they will “fight until the last breath, for the team, for the projects, and then for the studio, in this order.”
“We’ve lost half a team, if we have to lose the rest of them that fucking sucks, but they’re the first that we fight for,” they said.
2023 has been a tumultuous year in the video game industry. Just yesterday, we received word of layoffs at Hello Neighbor publisher TinyBuild, Insurgency developer New World Interactive and F1 23 developer Codemasters.
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