In a shocking turn of events, Versus Evil, the renowned indie game publisher responsible for beloved titles such as The Banner Saga and Pillars Of Eternity 2, has been forced to shut down its operations. This unfortunate decision has left the entire staff of Versus Evil jobless, compounding the already grim state of the video game industry. Let us delve into the details surrounding this devastating blow and its implications for the indie gaming community.
Former director of product strategy, Francis Fincke, took to LinkedIn to express his sorrow, revealing that the entire 13-person team at Versus Evil had been laid off. The news was further confirmed by the official Versus Evil account on X, leaving no room for doubt. The closure of Versus Evil marks the end of a glorious era that lasted for a decade, filled with cherished memories and remarkable indie games.
Founded in 2013, Versus Evil quickly made a name for itself in the gaming industry as a champion of indie developers. They spearheaded the release of groundbreaking games like Tower Of Guns, Amikrog, and Faeria, captivating gamers worldwide with their unique blend of artistry and innovation. Versus Evil was synonymous with quality and had garnered immense respect from both the gaming community and industry experts.
Turmoil and Litigation
However, behind the scenes, dark clouds had been brewing. The departure of founder Steve Escalante was a harbinger of further trouble for Versus Evil. Escalante had been embroiled in a contentious legal battle with tinyBuild, the company that acquired Versus Evil in November 2021. He accused tinyBuild of breaching their agreement and failing to fulfill their obligations. The resolution of this litigation saw tinyBuild agreeing to pay $3.5 million in cash, along with legal costs, to settle the dispute.
Regrettably, the misfortunes do not end with the closure of Versus Evil. tinyBuild, the parent company that acquired Versus Evil, recently announced the closure of Hakjak Studio, the developers behind the eagerly anticipated Pigeon Simulator. The dark cloud of layoffs has loomed large over the entire video game industry throughout the year, with the staggering number of layoffs reaching an estimated 10,000 staff in 2023, according to the tracking website videogamelayoffs.com.
The closure of Versus Evil is undeniably a profound loss for both the indie game publishing sphere and the gaming community at large. The team at Versus Evil poured their hearts and souls into bringing joy to gamers worldwide, creating unforgettable experiences that touched the lives of countless players. As we bid farewell to this indomitable force in the gaming industry, let us express our deepest gratitude for their unwavering dedication and contribution to the world of indie gaming.
While the closure of Versus Evil may leave a void in the hearts of many, the indie game publishing landscape remains resilient. The closure should serve as a sobering reminder of the challenges and volatility that independent developers face. As the community mourns this devastating loss, it is crucial to rally together and continue to support the dreams and aspirations of aspiring indie developers who strive to make their mark on the gaming industry.
As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is important to reflect on the impact of closures like Versus Evil. The lessons learned and the memories shared will shape the future of indie game publishing. Although the closure of Versus Evil is undoubtedly a setback, it is through the resilience and determination of developers, publishers, and gamers alike that new chapters will be written, giving rise to a new era of indie gaming, fueled by passion and innovation.