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News video games 02 July 2023, 10:15

Plot Twist: Gollum's Failure Will be the End of Daedalic Games, Not Just in Middle-earth

Daedalic Entertainment is ending game development to focus on its publishing business. The failure of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum apparently sealed the company's fate.

Source: Daedalic Entertainment

A month ago, studio Daedalic Entertainment suggested that it would give itself a chance to redeem itself after the blunder that was The Lord of the Rings: Gollum - and will create more games set in Middle-earth. Today the company announced however, that it is ceasing to develop video games to focus solely on its publishing business.

Daedalic's owners describe this moment in its history as a "new beginning," but also "a difficult turning point."

  1. No wonder - video games had been made at the company's Hamburg headquarters since 2007, when FIBA Basketball Manager 2008 debuted.
  2. However, the studio made its mark on gamers mainly with point-and-click adventure series such as Deponia and Edna & Harvey.
  3. Also worth mentioning from its portfolio is the two-episode RPG series Blackguards - especially the second one.

Although it may seem that it's the fateful Gollum that caused Daedalic to have to make such a decision it is worth noting the bad streak suffered by the company for a long time.

  1. The highly acclaimed The Pillars of the Earth - an adaptation of Ken Follett's novel of the same name - turned out to be a financial flop.
  2. Nor did the RTS A Year of Rain gain popularity or wider recognition.
  3. The company tried to save itself with familiar point-and-click adventure games, but today they are too niche for even the quite decent State of Mind, Memoria or Anna's Quest to be financially successful.

At most, therefore, it can be said that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was the straw that broke the back of Daedalic Entertainment's owners. In the not-too-distant future - i.e. in 2023 and 2024 - the company is expected to release at least eight games by other studios, including as many as five by Polish developers. These are:

  1. Glitchpunk (in Early Access);
  2. Inkulinati (in Early Access - the title is also available on Game Pass);
  3. Destroyer: The U-Boat Hunter (in Early Access);
  4. Hidden Deep (in Early Access);
  5. Magin: The Rat Project Stories;
  6. Capes;
  7. Edge of Sanity;
  8. Surviving Deponia.

Given Daedalic's decision, the fate of the last item on the list may seem to be in jeopardy.

  1. However, it turned out that the new Deponia is being developed by AtomicTorch Studio - authors of the quite good CryoFall (the involvement of this developer somehow explains the presence of survival game element in this adventure game) - and the publisher's decision did not affect it.
  2. Nevertheless, the fact that the work on Surviving Deponia was entrusted to an external studio seems to suggest that the German company had been planning this move for a long time.

The decision in question will instead affect the jobs of 25 of Daedalic Entertainment's 90 employees, who, after years in the gamedev business, will have to find their way in the publishing sphere - or change employers. However, the company's owners are optimistic:

"We value every member of our team and it is important to us that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Therefore, we will support them in finding new opportunities within our ranks."

  1. Daedalic Entertainment - official website

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

Has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined five years later - although he has known the service since he had access to the internet - to combine his love for words and games. Deals mainly with news and journalism. A sociologist by education, a gamer by passion. He started his gaming adventure at the age of four - with a Pegasus. Currently, prefers PC and demanding RPGs, but does not shy away from consoles or other genres. When he's not playing or writing, he enjoys reading, watching series (less often movies) and Premier League matches, listening to heavy music, and also walking the dog. Almost uncritically loves the work of Stephen King. Does not abandon plans to follow in his footsteps. However, he keeps his first "literary achievements" locked away deep in a drawer.