Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture developer The Chinese Room is "going dark" for the next few months and is laying off its staff. In a post on its official website, the British studio’s Creative Director, Dan Pinchbek, has posted a lenghty message to fans revealing that this has been in the cards since June.
With the studio working on The 13the Interior and Little Orpheus still, Pinchbeck has mentioned that development on these two titles are still going to plan, though the studio is no longer in "fully active development," and that this is not the end but just "a pause." Check out the choice excerpts from the message below to get a further understanding of where Pinchbeck is coming form.
There’s an interview coming out tomorrow in Eurogamer, where I talk at length about the ups and downs of being a small developer, and the challenges you face as a business-owner and employer as well as a game maker. It’s centred around the news that for the immediate future, we’re going dark as a studio.
In fact, this has been on the cards since earlier this year. Back in June, I had a health scare – nothing life-threatening, but enough to pull me up short and make us have a serious think about things. This was right at the tail end of development on So Let Us Melt, following a long period of ongoing pitches and negotiations to secure the follow-up project for the studio. To cut a long story short, the situation – between financial pressures, trying to keep the lights on for the employed team, the stress of end-of-development, health issues – just wasn’t a tenable thing anymore. It was time to take a break, recharge, recover and have a good think about the future.
So we let our team go. Lay-offs are never pleasant, particularly when you’re all trying to wrap a game. We did our best to try and help the team secure new positions, and then we all – the whole team – threw everything we had at wrapping the game. It didn’t feel fair to anyone, least of all people who had spent a year working on a project, to have its completion and release overshadowed by news about the studio closing, so we’ve held off on the announcement until we felt we were clear of all of that.
Is it the end of The Chinese Room? No, I don’t think so. But it’s the end of a chapter, and we hope you can all be patient with us whilst we figure out what happens next.
You can read the entire thing here.
We wish everyone at The Chinese Room the best, and hope that everyone managed to land on their feet.