Chronicles of Elyria Suffers Layoffs After Failing To Find Publisher
In their most recent State of Elyria post (dated Jan 17), Soulbound Studios confirms rumors that the Chronicles of Elyria team has had to let several staff go after failing to secure additional funding.
Chronicles of Elyria initially raised $1.3 million via Kickstarter back in 2016 and has continued to raise additional funds through their website via Pledge Packages. Despite raising a combined $3.6 million thus far, the studio reached out to outside investors and publishers to try securing additional funding. Those efforts failed and the studio was unable to maintain its elevated staffing levels.
The studio claims that with their reduced staffing levels they will be able to stay open based on store sales alone:
From the end of 2016 to the end of 2017 we nearly doubled in staff, however that team size was never intended to be sustainable without the long-term aid of a publisher or investor. In their absence, and as a result of our change in focus back to crowdfunding, we adjusted our resources accordingly so as to be sustainable solely through sales from our online store.
News of this layoff comes soon after an announcement that Chronicles of Elyria dropped SpatialOS in favor of an in-house solution. There's no official word on whether these setbacks will delay the development timeline, but we suspect that there will be a scaling back in the terms of the game's ambitions.
Jeremy Walsh, founder of Soulbound Studios, was frustrated with publishers and complained that publishers were “disinclined to take the risk on an innovative game such as Chronicles of Elyria without changing [the] intended vision” with things like “micro-transactions, loot crates, or other features that prioritize revenue over player experience.”
Further Reading: State of Elyria: State of the Studio