Oh, rest ye head weary game developer. It’s disheartening to hear that the indie game scene in Melbourne has been dealt yet another blow. League of Geeks has been forced to lay off half of its staff and development on Jumplight Odyssey has been paused.
This comes just weeks after Samurai Punk ceased development entirely after a 10-year run. The local game development industry is facing significant challenges as the cost of living rises and funding opportunities become less reliable. See the announcement below.
We’ve got some unfortunate news to share, folks. A thread: pic.twitter.com/hDjlrkKtdV
— League of Geeks (@LeagueofGeeks) December 5, 2023
The lay-offs affect 31 staff members, including contract employees working on Jumplight Odyssey. The game launched into Early Access in August this year but with low sales and other blows to the game’s financing, the studio has had to indefinitely pause development to keep the lights on. In a candid statement on the games Steam Forum, Studio Co-founder Trent Kusters opened up about the game’s future.
He also stated “So for the next twelve months or until development is resumed, whichever comes first, half of our profit from every copy sold will be distributed to our team (including those whose employment was impacted).” It’s clear that even in times of hardship the studios focus still on the livelihood of those affected. League Of Geeks has always carried a lot of weight in the local industry, so to see them still setting the bar high in trying times is truly admirable.
League of Geeks plans to focus now on Solium Infernum, launching on February 14th, 2024. They’ve stated this focus as being a way forward that will allow them to see out its launch. We got to go hands-on with Solium Infernum’s demo if you’d like to read our thoughts here.
If you’re interested in supporting the local industry and indie studios, you can do so by following them on social media, wishlisting their games on Steam, and purchasing their releases for yourself or friends. Support like this helps to ensure smaller studios can continue to thrive and employ diverse teams of talented people.
Our heart is with League of Geeks and we can only hope that the coming months allow the studio to keep going.