Thunderful Games Closes Studio as Revenue Falls

Thunderful Games, the publisher behind the SteamWorld series, has closed one of its studios amid falling revenue.


Published: May 15, 2024 9:47 AM /

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The Thunderful logo next to a shot of the game Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom, developed by Stage Clear Studios

SteamWorld publisher Thunderful Games has announced it will close one of its studios as part of an ongoing restructuring effort.

In its financial presentation for 2024's first quarter, Thunderful reveals it will close Stage Clear Studios, the developer behind Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom. The studio has also acted as a co-development outfit on a number of other games.

Stage Clear's closure is part of an ongoing restructuring effort that will also see the divestment of Headup, which Thunderful acquired in 2021. Said restructuring effort has already resulted in Thunderful laying off around 20% of its workforce earlier this year.

The kids battling enemies with various improvised weapons in Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom, a game developed by Stage Clear and published by Thunderful
Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom developer Stage Clear is no more.

News of Stage Clear's closure comes as Thunderful reports a 28% drop in revenue on a year-over-year basis. Thunderful says this is partly down to SteamWorld Build sales not improving as the company had hoped.

A number of Thunderful projects have also been canceled; the group says it's either canceled or divested three internal projects and nine third-party efforts.

These include Tinkertown, which Thunderful has divested along with Headup, as well as projects codenamed Axe and Strawberry, the latter of which was to be a SteamWorld title.

Third-party projects Thunderful has canceled or divested, meanwhile, include Headup games Soulslinger and Symphonia, as well as FuturLab's Ikaro Will Not Die. Several unannounced projects have also been canceled or divested.

Steambots lining up for combat in SteamWorld Heist 2, a Thunderful game
SteamWorld Heist 2 is one of Thunderful's upcoming games.

Thunderful says it still has twelve games in development internally, as well as four lining up as part of its publishing pipeline.

Upcoming internal projects include party-based RPG Vendir: Plague of Lies, which is set to launch later this month, plus the recently-announced SteamWorld Heist 2.

Third-party publishing efforts, meanwhile, include survival sim Aska, "high-speed time-trial racer" Phantom Spark, and 2.5D platformer Replaced, and that's all in addition to a project currently codenamed Peach.

We'll have to wait and see if any of these projects bear fruit (no pun intended on Peach's part). Stay tuned for more on this and all other things Thunderful-related.

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