Death Inc. dev shutting down

Ambient Studios closing shop because it didn't make enough money to "keep the wolves from the door"; refunds going out for Death Inc.

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Monster Meltdown and Death Inc. developer Ambient Studios is closing down. In an update to the company's website, the United Kingdom-based developer explained that it simply did not make enough money to remain viable.

"We're super proud of what we achieved, but ultimately we didn't manage to make enough money to keep the wolves from the door," Ambient wrote. "And so we had to make the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible for Ambient to continue operating."

After Death Inc. failed to reach its Kickstarter funding target last month, Ambient launched a $10 paid alpha for the PC game through its website. Those who backed the project will receive a full refund, the developer explained.

"Obviously, we cannot deliver on the commitments we made in the various Death Inc. alpha tiers," the studio wrote. "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."

Ambient's closure comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the developer had regularly posted updates about Death Inc.'s progress on its website throughout April.

Discussion

62 comments
Dogswithguns
Dogswithguns

I blame on the economy these days.. no one has a job, no one has money.

SmallMafia
SmallMafia

Man, this is a real shame - very sad indeed

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

"Ambient's closure comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the developer had regularly posted updates about Death Inc.'s progress on its website throughout April."

I equate that to people saying their relationship is fine, then filing for divorce a week later.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

The fact that this game was successfully greenlit on Steam within a short period of time should at least have given them the impression that a lot of people are interested in it.

From what I heard and saw of the closed Alpha testings there wasn't much "game" in it yet, but it had some refreshingly new and pretty interesting gameplay mechanics.

Kudos for them returning the alpha funding money to the backers, I hope they can get themselves together and continue working on this game sometime soon.
While we don't know the exact reasons behind their decision and I think that going the Steam Early Access approach would've secured funding / income over the course of development, but it's all their choice.

Best of luck in the future though.

00J
00J

If they don't succeed, it's because they didn't work hard enough, fast enough. Work around the clock don't sleep "much", eat at the computer, drink coffee, work at the computer, eat at the computer...

Adavanter
Adavanter

I don't understand kickstarter sometimes. Half the time I never even hear about the game until it's nearly over or failed. So many games I would have backed if only I knew they existed.

dannyodwyer
dannyodwyer staff

Sad to hear it. I was only playing the alpha yesterday, seemed like the game had promise.

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

So now you decide to post about them gamespot SMH

Fat_Boy_PT
Fat_Boy_PT

There´s an Horation Caine line just waiting to explode here...

Anyway sad to hear the news! Best of luck to the ppl affected!

TrueGB
TrueGB

Guess they decided to get out while the going was rough before they dug themselves into a hole.

anigmha
anigmha

That's a shame. Death Inc was pretty high on my wishlist when I discovered it AFTER their Kickstarter failed. It's a bigger shame that big gaming sites rather write about DLCs of overrated games. Whatever garners the most clicks, I guess.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

It's so depressing to hear this.....it's like someones dreams just got crushed....

I shall weep for this company. :(

kagento
kagento

A shame... it was even featured in Edge's previous issue and it looked pretty cool, although it was too late for the kickstarter campaign when the issue was published. A real shame that games like this one pass unnoticed... Best of luck to all Ambient devs.

Valacan
Valacan

I backed them, so their demise isn't on my conscience.

kpolicoff
kpolicoff

I went to the kickstart and looked at the video. looked like a really neat game. I think it's really messed up that gamespot only posted information about this game when it was canceled. If they posted something about it when it was still collecting money, it might have had enough viewers to keep it going. a real shame. I might have even been interested in this... if I knew it existed. Hey... not like gamespot's in the business of informing it's readers about gaming or anything. haha. what a silly thought. I guess I'll go and read another article about how much the Wii U sucks or something. Apparently, that's what they'd rather write articles about. failure. thanks for all the negative vibes, gamespot.

pottedPlant7p
pottedPlant7p

Never heard of 'em.  Gamespot likes to report on EA or Call of Duty.  More about indie games and kickstarters, please.  With an article here, this game might have come through

JPaterson000
JPaterson000

Oh well. Cutthroat industry. You either succeed, or you don't.

/shrugs

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

"We're super proud of what we achieved, but ultimately we didn't manage to make enough money to keep the wolves from the door," Ambient wrote. "And so we had to make the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible for Ambient to continue operating."  


I plain hate that! what the hell they achieved to be proud of? They didn't make it. I would have gone with "well, we failed, and you cannot possibly imagine our dissapointment. don't worry you will get your money back."

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

@Dogswithguns I have both, so does ~88% of America.  Its all about prioritizing what you want vs what you need.  Apparently people these days feel like they NEED 90$ phone plans with 5gb of data ...

shinobiprophetx
shinobiprophetx

@00J Some people have families and other responsibilities outside of work. This is easier said than done.

chuchupika
chuchupika

@Adavanter I complete agree with you.  Most of the time I never heard about it. The problem mainly is I see too much projects wanting to receive kickstarter funding, too much chatter means too little funding for everybody.  The devs whom has proven themselves doing old school games, usually get massive support.  You guys can name a few big successes on kickstarter for sure, in a matter of days they double or triple their target.  For people who like games like Baldur's gate, they will jump onboard to support Project Eternality (also dev is well know).

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Adavanter Unless a game is set to be a huge title like the Double Fine kickstarter it is hard to find out about the games until it is too late. Kickstarter also doesn't do a great job on their own site of promoting good content without sifting through a lot of it and going through pages of stuff.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Adavanter I'd say it's a failure on the part of the journalists - if they had a weekly wrap-up to have a quick chat about the latest kickstarter campaigns I think it'd help tremendously with awareness about existing campaigns.

Please GS, put out a weekly article with "This week in Kickstarter" which discusses (Or just lists and links) the latest campaigns on KS.

larkin-54
larkin-54

@dannyodwyer you guys need to do a top five crowd funded games show to raise awareness of kick-starter games it could just be bi monthly but it would get people more involved so stuff like this doesn't happen. Its the current trend in indie games... not a bad idea 

snxx
snxx

@dragonkantus Heya! I don't mean to be disrespectful (also, I'm a Brazilian), but I think we should keep portuguese out of english-speaking forums and websites. I mean, isn't it awful when we see comments made in russian, farsi, french or any particular language we don't speak? Personally, I speak four different languages, but I believe each one of them should be used on their appropriate places and spaces. The reason, after all, is being able to communicate with everyone, and since you can read a news article posted in english, I'm pretty sure you can also comment in english. There's no reason for us to "ghetto" ourselves, let's open up and speak with everyone, right? :)

ewjiml
ewjiml

@Darkmoone1  

This is only one of thousands of indie companies that go belly-up after their game sold poorly.  The only difference is that Gamespot decided to report this one. 

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@Valacan well i didnt and neither is it on mine.  hell its not on any of us that they failed. 

pathosfire
pathosfire

To be fair, GameSpot doesn't post about the vast majority of kickstarter projects.

hystavito
hystavito

@pottedPlant7p  GS actually does do quite a bit of indie coverage, but I think their choices are generally the bigger indie titles or specific ones picked due to personal interest of a staff member.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@JPaterson000 well its not really anyones fault they failed you act as if someone else other than themselves pulled the plug and thats just not true.

pathosfire
pathosfire

Is that what you'd like to hear from your boss when your business fails? I'm sure they are super disappointed, but in the wake of defeat it's often better to focus on the positive. And I'm sure they are proud of their alpha, the game showed promise, but game creation is expensive and risky and the financials don't always come through.

Azghouls
Azghouls

Agreed - I didn't know this until it's too late.

And now there's a Jagged Alliance game in Kickstarter however I cannot see any coverage here...

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

@Daemoroth @Adavanter this seems to be a problem all we really get as news is for mainstream games and next gen console rumors that have copy and pasted from a bazillion sites

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

@Daemoroth @Adavanter it'd be nice but first they'd have to make kickstarter easier to search on and not many of the stuff on there to begin with is worth writing about imo.

leimonides
leimonides

That would be quite a credible addition to this website; garner a bit of positive respect for the site and its reporting quality as well.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

@Daemoroth @Adavanter I would second this petition.  Put a writer on that beat.  You have "top 5 Skyrim mods" every week, why not "top 5 promising crowdfunding games"

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

@leimonides I am onboard with kickstarter updates but it makes too much sense and well..this is gamespot. Also, if tom mcshea is the one that reviews and summarizes this addition then don't bother......

snxx
snxx

@jimrhurst @Daemoroth @Adavanter With the bonus that there's probably more people interested in new, unusual/original projects than on Skyrim mods. At least now.

kpolicoff
kpolicoff

@leviathanwing @kpolicoff @pathosfire I'm not the only one with this "narrative", as you call it. Half of these notes state that they never even heard of the game until gamespot let everyone know it failed. Even Danny from gamespot posted a reply stating it was a shame and he played the alpha. if so promising, why not write a brief article on it in gamespot... you know... cause they report gaming news. Oh. sorry. I guess my narrative and misplaced blame are still showing.