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Jumplight Odyssey development suspended indefinitely as League Of Geeks face redundancies

Rising costs, funding withdrawals and poor early access sales all factors in this "impossible decision," the studio says

Artwork for Jumplight Odyssey showing a princess, her crew and her spaceship above
Image credit: League Of Geeks

Ah, man, this one really stings. League Of Geeks, the developers behind Armello and the upcoming Solium Infernum remake, have announced they've had to pause the development of their spaceship colony roguelike Jumplight Odyssey "indefinitely" as the studio faces mass redundancies. Over 50% of staff have been affected, including the entire Jumplight Odyssey team, and part of their publishing and operations teams.

In a statement posted to Xwitter last night, studio co-founders and directors Trent Kusters, Blake Mizzi and Ty Carey said, "Rapidly rising operation costs, a weakening AUD, poor Early Access sales, and the unprecedented withdrawal of funding opportunities across the industry, placed us in a position where we could no longer afford to cover development costs."

They stress that this decision "will not impact the launch or quality of Solium Infernum", which is still on track for its early access release date of February 14th, nor will it affect the ongoing support they provide for Armello.

League Of Geeks expanded on their Xwitter post with a more extensive blog post and FAQ on Jumplight Odyssey's Steam page. The game had been due to leave early access sometime between April and June 2024, the developers say, but since it was greenlit in early 2021, the cost of wages, software, rent and more have all "increased dramatically", and combined the poor exchange rate and "almost all funding and investment has evaporated from the video game industry" over the last six months, League Of Geeks unfortunately found themselves in a "devastating position" of having to downsize the studio.

"The world has changed since then," Kusters told our colleagues at GamesIndustry.Biz today. "The Australian dollar fell like a stone, and all of our software and everything is paid for in USD. Inflation across the board. Cost of rent. Tech salaries rose in Melbourne by 40% last year. You add all these things up and it almost creates the exact amount that we were missing right at the end of the project. We have contingency in our budget, so we make the same mistakes or stupid decisions that every developer makes and this game wouldn't have come in on budget anyway, even if all these things didn't happen, but the amount it's blown out is just wild."

League Of Geeks are "immeasurably sorry" that they haven't been able to find a way to support Jumplight Odyssey, but stress that they're still working on one final patch to make the game "feel as complete as we possibly can" before they have to stop development. What's more, half of their profits from every copy sold will be "distributed to our team (including those whose employment was impacted)", they say.

"We don’t want this to be the end of Jumplight Odyssey. If investment in the project becomes a reality, and the conditions exist where it is financially possible for us to boot this game back up, we absolutely will."

I really hope so, too, as I really enjoyed what I played of Jumplight Odyssey ahead of its early access release. Its Star Blazers-inspired anime visuals immediately caught my eye back when League Of Geeks first revealed the game this time last year, and its promise of characterful spaceship management, resource gathering and high-octane escapes from an all-powerful enemy quickly shot it right onto the list of my most anticipated games of 2023. Then, when its Steam Next Fest demo arrived over the summer, it was everything I'd hoped it would be, creating a bubbling pressure cooker of decisions to dive into as you tried to reach the haven of your Forever Star.

Alas, it will likely be sometime before Jumplight Odyssey finds it own Forever Star now, and we wish the very best of luck to everybody affected.

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Katharine Castle avatar

Katharine Castle

Editor-in-chief

Katharine is RPS' editor-in-chief, which means she's now to blame for all this. After joining the team in 2017, she spent four years in the RPS hardware mines. Now she leads the RPS editorial team and plays pretty much anything she can get her hands on. She's very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests, but also loves strategy and turn-based tactics games and will never say no to a good Metroidvania.

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