Paradox Interactive to part ways with The Lamplighter’s League studio after disappointing launch

Posted on October 18, 2023

It has been announced that Harebrained Schemes, developer of BATTLETECH and the recently-released pulpy strategy game The Lamplighter’s League, will be parting ways with Paradox Interactive after its latest game was deemed a financial disappointment by the publisher. According to the announcement, the decision was reached by “mutual agreement, stemming from each party’s strategic and creative priorities.

Paradox has refocused its strategy towards its core niches within strategy and management games with endless qualities,” said Charlotta Nilsson, COO of Paradox. “We and HBS’ leadership have been discussing what would happen after the release of The Lamplighters League, but a new project or sequel in the same genre was not in line with our portfolio plans. Hence, we believe that a separation would be the best way forward. We’re very happy that this talented, gifted studio has the chance to continue and can’t wait to see what they will make next.

Harebrained Schemes will support The Lamplighters League through the end of the year while we seek funding and partnerships for an independent future in 2024,” said Brian Poel, Studio Operations Manager of HBS. “Our studio mission remains the same: to make games that challenge your mind and touch your heart.

Paradox Interactive acquired Harebrained Schemes back in 2018, then perhaps best known for developing the recent Shadowrun games. Following the partnership, Harebrained Schemes released BATTLETECH and developed The Lamplighter’s League from the ground-up.

There are plenty of reasons that The Lamplighter’s League may not have made a strong commercial impact. A not particularly strong marketing push, combined with a day-one Game Pass launch ensuring players could play it without directly paying for it would have dampened early sales. Evidently, whatever amount Microsoft paid Paradox Interactive for the Game Pass launch was not sufficient to make up for the lost sales on PC and Xbox. Furthermore, turn-based strategy has often been a fairly niche genre; if Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a game with the XCOM pedigree of Firaxis behind it and with Iron Man and Spider-Man on the cover was a commercial flop, then a lower-profile title like The Lamplighter’s League is similarly going to have its work cut out for it.

For those of you who have enjoyed The Lamplighter’s League, Harebrained Schemes will continue to support it for the rest of the year while it is with Paradox Interactive. Paradox will maintain ownership of the game as well as anything else the developer worked on since the acquisition, so we probably can’t expect a sequel anytime soon. We will have to wait and see where Harebrained Schemes goes from next year, such as whether they will begin self-publishing or seek out a new publisher relationship.