Its a sad day for game developer GriN as the company officially announced bankruptcy this morning. The team behind the recently released indie game Woolfe: The Red Hood Dairies will be ceasing all operations henceforth as it is unable to fulfill its promised Kickstarter pledges.
GriN’s Wim Wouters laid it out pretty plainly with his opening statement during his farewell address posted today. “It’s done, there is no way back. We tried, we failed.” Wouters went on to explain that the team has now been dismantled and that they have requested bankruptcy as they are unable to pay outstanding bills.
During the beginning of his address Wouters acknowledges GriN’s public silence over the past few months following the release of the first chapter in the Red Hood Diaries adventure series.
“I guess our public silence the last few months already said a lot. It is not out of disrespect that our communication dropped to almost zero… it is out of shame. It is truly devastating to read the negative comments we received by some press and players. With Woolfe being the most passion driven thing we have ever created, it feels horrible to live with the feeling we let you down.”
Wouters originally founded the company 13 years ago back in 2002 along with two other partners with the goal to develop independent games together. Of the course of many ups and downs Wouters founding partners moved on from the company to pursue other career paths. Through hard work and over the course of multiple years, GriN set aside enough money to begin work on a game that would be their last, Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries .
“The optimist in me led me to believe we could actually pull off making a “bigger” indie game. I really wanted to prove an indie game did not have to be rendered in pixels or stylized as a solution to cut development costs. I wanted to believe that a team of 6 to 10 people could make a game that looked and felt AAA. Boy was I wrong!” Writes Wouters. “At first we could not believe that our “baby” was not more successful, in our emotions we started looking for explanations not related to the game. Maybe gamers are just spoilt brats, bashing on everything, maybe there is an oversaturation of indie market, maybe all the free-to-play games by big studios are giving players a false sense of value. How could less than $10 be to expensive for a beautiful game like Woolfe? How could this be our fault?”
In the end, GriN realized that their shortfalls were ultimately of their own doing. “Of course none of the emotional excuses above are the reason of our mixed steam rating. We can only blame ourselves…Our lack of experience just could not be compensated with passion alone.” And as for the Kickstarter backers? Unfortunately for those individuals who chose to back the project, none of the promised kickstarter pledges will be sent out. Wouters elaborated on the severity of their financial situation during the conclusion of his address.
“The crazy thing is, that we have most of the rewards ready for postage. All the backer stickers and letters of enlistment just need a stamp. All the poster sets printed, signed and ready. The artbook is ready to be printed, the soundtrack is ready for distribution, the DVD case is ready for production. But we have literally no money whatsoever to pay for stamps, let alone print the artbooks and dvd-cases.”
Needless to say this announcement comes as sad news. Despite the shortfalls of Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, we hate to hear of an absolutely crushing defeat such as this and when the project had only just begun. If you would like to read the entire farewell address you can click here to do so.