FTX collapse has done lethal damage to an up-and-coming card game

Storybook Brawl art
(Image credit: Good Luck Games)

Storybook Brawl is a free-to-play fairytale card game designed by former Magic: The Gathering pros that showed real promise when it debuted in 2021. It still needed work—we said in a preview later that year that it felt "unfocused," and was "struggling for a unique identity among the varied mechanics of what is still an unexplored game genre"—but it was in early access, which is exactly when those sorts of issues are supposed to be worked out.

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. Developer Good Luck Games announced on Twitter today that the servers will be taken offline for good on May 1.

"On behalf of everyone on the SBB team, we'd like to thank you for your support," the studio tweeted earlier today. "We’ve explored different options, and unfortunately there is no path forward. We’ll be shutting down the servers on May 1st - please enjoy SBB until then, and thanks for all the memories."

A specific reason for the closure hasn't been given, but the widely held assumption is that Storybook Brawl was caught in the swirl of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that went from a $32 billion valuation at the beginning of 2022 to multiple criminal charges at the end of it. 

FTX acquired Good Luck Games in March 2022, saying it was an "opportunity to be the vanguard for the ethical integration of gaming and crypto transactions." Fans didn't see it that way, however: The review bombs began dropping almost immediately, dragging the user rating on Steam down to "mixed", based on 3,506 reviews at current count. 

The bigger issue, of course, was that FTX was itself a house of cards. Founder Sam Bankman-Fried denied criminal intent but acknowledged on Twitter that he "fucked up," which is certainly one way to put it; criminal charges have yet to be proven in court but at the very least, FTX was run fast, loose, and with basically no oversight. 

See more

The studio didn't comment directly on the collapse of FTX, although it did make a couple of oblique references to the company's troubles. On November 11, the day FTX filed for bankruptcy, Good Luck Games tweeted that "given the circumstances, we are saddened to announce that we are cancelling the World Championship in The Bahamas," and said that it was "unsure about the future of Organized Play and the World Championship." 

A couple months later, Good Luck Games said it "appreciates the community's continued passion for the game," but had no "big news" to share otherwise.

See more

Some fans are hoping the rights to Storybook Brawl can be acquired in order to enable its re-release, possibly as an open source game, but given FTX's legal entanglements, that doesn't seem like a likely outcome to me. I've reached out to Good Luck Games for more information on the closure, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.