Independent developer GriN has shut its doors.
The Belgian-based studio, known for their kickstarter Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, is shutting down. A year after their kickstarter launched, GriN will be closing it's doors after releasing only the first chapter in the Woolfe series earlier this year.
GriN founder Wim Woulters cited overall inexperience of the studio as one of the primary causes for their closing. "The optimist in me led me to believe we could actually pull off making a “bigger” indie game," stated Woulters. "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!"
Woolfe changed throughout its development, from a 2-D to 3-D platformer, a decision that would be costly for GriN in the long run. The games reception was also lukewarm upon release on Steam, leading to less than expected sales for the title.
Woulters also noted that several kickstarter backer rewards are still currently unfulfilled, and it is mostly due to GriN's inability to afford shipping or production. "The crazy thing is, that we have most of the rewards ready for postage,” he writes. “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.”
GriN was founded back in 2002 as a small tech company that worked on browser-based games. With a staff of roughly five full time employees, Woolfe was GriN's first major attempt to make their own independent game, instead of work-for-hire. Their kickstarter raised $72,000, but even that was not enough to save the studio.
Currently, GriN is in bankruptcy, and is looking to sell the Woolfe IP and assets for the future chapters of the Woolfe series.
So what do you think? Was Woolfe too ambitious for GriN? Leave your comments below.