A letter to our fans and friends
Truthfully, I never fully prepared myself for today. Since Puny Human has endured strong setbacks in the past, I felt confident that we could move through almost anything. However, nothing could prepare me for the last 3 months of intense sorrow and visits to dark and unhappy places. Even writing this for you now, for context and history of the events of this year, is a struggle. It’s difficult to bring the words to the surface.
As you may have seen, Puny Human is closing its doors. Through 16 years of exhilarating and somber experiences, I have never seen a year like this. Going into the New Year, the team was abuzz with excitement and felt well-equipped. The eventual release of our newest title felt like a certainty, and every day we woke up with hopes for the future. It was clear in February and March that the market would take a significant downturn. Building relationships with partners that would support us longterm was becoming impossible. It made sense, they also needed to batten down. Though, we needed more time.
By April, studios that we have had long term relationships with could no longer financially support our skills and initiative, let alone their own staff. We partnered with a few companies that could do any sort of short term development. Though, they too, had their hands tied by this year’s realities. I worried that we may not have enough time, both to develop titles for other studios, and our own that we had already spent many years on.
In May, I felt a faint sense of relief. We found a company to work alongside to help build their game, and wait out the endless news cycle of company layoffs and closures. I worked tirelessly to secure and build the relationship, working endless hours and even traveling to the other side of the planet. When June had come, it was apparent that this connection would not last, and that they were not a fit with our values.
At the end of that month, I had to layoff the majority of our staff. There was nobody left to passionately develop the games that we knew in our hearts could be a success. Everything was over so suddenly.
Ceasing operations of a business, especially one with this much history, is difficult, expensive and time consuming. After June, I worked to shepherd longtime friends and coworkers into new positions, and make the coming closure as painless for everyone as possible. As I write this, yesterday was the last day at Puny Human’s office. Giving back the keys was yet another emotional shock, one that I had hoped that I was past. After working with amazing people at Striking Distance Studios, Squanch Games, inXile Entertainment, and so many more, I knew that my life with Puny Human was coming to an end.
Dystopia, Blade Symphony and Galacide are games that I care deeply for and want to support for as long as I am able to. For now, the communities of these titles are unaffected. I will keep everything that I can running, and work to find a future for these games that will not negatively impact the players. How exactly I will do that, isn’t quite clear to me. Puny Human as an entity will be around as a legal host, in service to the partners that we have remaining, allowing us to keep the games operational. The websites will stay online, and the servers will be accessible.
Those who have played and developed these games with me for so long, mean the world to me. It’s hard envisioning a reality where they’re not part of my life, and I’m not a sliver of theirs. Thank you so much to the players and fans, the ones that racked up insane playtime, made fan art, created strategy guides, planned tournaments, or even just casually played from time to time. All of you are amazing, and while you may have felt a sense of joy from the games that you’ve played, know that you’ve brought an equal amount of happiness to those who developed them.
Know that I want you to be happy with the future of these titles, even after 16 years of supporting them. For right now, though, it’s time for Puny Human and I to rest.