Failbetter Games's latest project, Sunless Skies, has been delayed. The new release date will be known sometime this month. The studio has had to lay off four members due to Sunless Skies' poor performance on Steam's Early Access.
Encouraged by the success of their 2015 hit, Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games decided to Kickstart a sequel to the adventure game about confronting Lovecraftian horror. In addition to their Kickstarter campaign, the developer studio even launched their own funding service to help bring other story-driven indies to life. The service is called Fundbetter.
Everything was going well until six months after launching in Early Access, Sunless Skies failed to do nearly as well as its predecessor. Failbetter issued a new Kickstarter backer update saying that Sunless Skies has sold roughly 15 percent of what Sunless Sea did in the same time period.
The developers attribute the lack of purchases to the fact they "went into Early Access too early". Still, the development process is progressing and the devs are confident they will deliver the finished product to their backers. With a little delay.
"We have just completed a redundancy consultancy process and four of us are leaving as a result." The company’s struggles mean that Sunless Skies will not make its May release date and a revised launch window is set to be announced this month.
Failbetter will also be retiring their Fallen London app in Q2 2018, and Fallen London on web will be re-launched. As they "just don’t have the spare funds or bandwidth" they will also officially retire Fundbetter. The final update for Sunless sea will be launching soon.
The developers closed the backer update by saying: "We’re committed to keeping this studio open and making games. We’re in no danger of failing to deliver Sunless Skies, and never have been. The decisions we’ve made over the last few months will enable us to make more games after Sunless Skies and be around for many years to come."