Published on April 25th, 2013 | by Andy Astruc2
Death Inc developer Ambient Studios closes
Ambient Studios, the creators of Monster Meltdown and the unfinished Death Inc., have closed down for good.
The only certainties in life — so goes the saying goes — are death and taxes, and often one leads inexorably towards the other. The guillotine for Ambient came down swiftly and surprisingly today in the form of a short post on their own website. It seems the harsh realities of insufficient cash flow were to blame. The post states “ultimately we didn’t manage to make enough money to keep the wolves from the door. And so we had to make the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible for Ambient to continue operating. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement along the way, we’ve got no regrets and have loved every minute of it.”
We’ve been following the trials and tribulations of Ambient’s latest project, Death Inc., for some time now, being rather enamoured with the RTS and management plague simulator. It’s hardly been a smooth ride, from a promising Kickstarter campaign which ended in dismal and disappointing failure, to the recent announcement of a privately run paid alpha program (and recent successful greenlighting on Steam), things did always seem to be a struggle for the former LittleBigPlanet, Burnout and Fable developers. But it’s quite a shock to see it end with the total destruction of the fledgling studio. It is easy to forget — amid all these crowdfunded skips through fields of money and indie success stories — that working without a publisher is risky business. Particularly when you a project can suck up development money well before it’s ready to generate income.
Those who already invested in Death Inc. in the form of the paid alpha program have been assured they will get all their money back, as Ambient will no longer be able to produce promised perks and features. “Obviously we cannot deliver on the commitments we made in the various Death Inc. alpha tiers. If you’re one of the alpha backers, don’t worry – we will be issuing full refunds so you will not be in any way out of pocket.”
It remains to be seen where the Ambient team members go from here. As for Death Inc., we can only wait and see if it has the power to rise from the dead… again. Otherwise it might just be another wonderful idea crushed under the tough, unforgiving boot of capitalism.