Death Discorporated: Ambient Studios To Close

Death Inc. had a great deal of style but it may never be substantiated. Ambient Studios, formed by by former Media Molecule, Criterion, and Lionhead employees, has confirmed that it will close its doors. Following the failure of the Kickstarter for the plague-ridden strategy game, Ambient offered alphas to paying customers in order to bring in development funding. That tactic hasn’t provided enough cash to keep the studio open though. All alpha backers will receive a full refund and, hopefully, the team will find new projects to work on soon.


  1. ShineyBlueShoes says:

    That’s disappointing as the game always looked like something worthwhile.

  2. daphne says:

    Sounds disturbingly sudden, given that it hasn’t even been two weeks since the paid alpha offering…

    • Dominic White says:

      Apparently they had a deal with Sony to develop a Vita title that fell through some months ago, so they’ve probably been on life support ever since. That Death Inc got caught up in this is more of a tangential point.

    • jatan says:

      well at least there is a refund

  3. Soldancer says:

    I’m sad to see this happen. I was actually thinking about getting the alpha for this pretty soon. Though it feels like that might have made a difference, I know it probably wouldn’t have done. I wish the team all the best.

  4. PatrickSwayze says:

    A real shame but didn’t Death Inc get green lighted too?

    • Forceflow says:

      Yeah, but getting greenlighted does not entail any support whatsoever. It just means: if your game gets released, it’s welcome in the steam store.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        Greenlight also opens up the “Early Access” stuff on Steam these days so devs can get alpha funding through that route as well.

      • PatrickSwayze says:

        I just assumed it might help them with gathering money or holding off the creditors for a while.

        They should’ve got that alpha on Steam asap via the play and develop ting stuff mon.

        A proper shame really because the Alpha demo was fun (if quiet.)

  5. Malibu Stacey says:

    Well this sucks.

  6. BurningPet says:

    This is a real shame seeing such a wonderful design and style go away.

  7. Cyrius says:

    Yeah, I bought the game and it was pretty promising. This is disappointing indeed.

  8. Gorillion says:

    This doesn’t seem too surprising. As much as I love supporting creative new projects, the early playable versions showed very little gameplay of interest or depth. Can’t always get away with style over substance.

    • soldant says:

      I agree. This didn’t seem like it was going to approach a “fun game” state and seemed to be relying on its style to get anywhere. I’m not going to cry for a project that apparently lacked direction.

  9. simoroth says:

    Very saddening. I wish them the best of luck in their future endevours.

    Death Inc was looking really great, it’s a real shame.

  10. MajorManiac says:

    Genuinely sorry to hear this. Good luck with the next project guys. (I assume they’ll read this as anyone with an internet connection must surely read RPS).

  11. Chuckaluphagus says:

    That really is a shame, I thought this was very promising. I’d gone in on the Kickstarter and, when that failed, bought into the alpha instead. Got my alpha build and the Portable Peasants PDF out of it. Hope everyone involved lands on their feet.

  12. Xocrates says:

    Well, this sucks balls. I was looking forward to this.

  13. Kein says:

    >formed by by former


  14. Mephz says:

    mjeh, looked boring to me and I did not like the art style at all. Hopefully they will go on to make something more interesting

  15. philatron says:

    I bought the alpha, loved the style and Cannon Fodder simplicity to the game. I wish the team all the best but I also selfishly hope some of them continue to work on the game in their spare time… Just look at some of the excellent indie games out there already that have been developed by just 1 or 2 people in their spare time…

  16. LTK says:

    This is sad news, but I guess we can’t support everybody.

  17. malkav11 says:

    I liked the look of Death Inc, but wasn’t convinced there was much else there. And I always wince when people’s Kickstarter projects fail and then they try to continue on merrily anyway. It’s not necessarily -always- the case, but unless there’s something glaringly wrong with how you ran your Kickstarter or some clear contributing external factor, odds are that your Kickstarter failing means there most likely isn’t a profitable market for your proposed product, and you might want to take that as a sign you should go back to the drawing board. That’s kind of a large part of the value of Kickstarter. If your project is sensibly designed and run, it funding should (mostly) guarantee that you have a large enough audience to at least make you break even. Which is more than you can say for other, more traditional funding sources.

  18. The Random One says:

    Didn’t have any interest whatsoever in the game, but it’s always a sad day when a bunch of quirky indies go away.

  19. scatterlogical says:

    Well, I hope that postmortem, the team can move on to a better place. The prototype was unfortunately a bit of a stillborn though, it really lacked the life to inspire. Not surprising the kickstarter was dead in the water.

  20. neofit says:

    I got mixed feeling when watching their videos. I don’t mind playing an Evil Genius or an Overlord or an evil Dungeon Master or what have you. But in this game I was supposed to run around and infect some helpless and innocent medieval people with the plague. It just felt wrong.