Acclaimed indie studio Vlambeer springs back to life 4 years after declaring 'the end of Vlambeer'

(Image credit: Vlambeer)

Few things seemed like more of a closed book to me than Vlambeer, the developer of Luftrausers, Nuclear Throne, and Ridiculous Fishing. A studio made up of Jan Nijman and Rami Ismail, Vlambeer shut its doors in September 2020 after 10 years in business, and announced "the end of Vlambeer" in a short, straightforward Twitter post. It was time for both its members to move onto new things.

Or not. Because in another post on Twitter yesterday, Nijman put out a "videogame company acquisition announcement" revealing that he now owns "100% of Vlambeer." In a tweet around the same time, Ismail announced that he had "sold my 50% of my old games studio Vlambeer to co-founder [Nijman]." Vlambeer, it seems, is back from the dead, albeit without Ismail's involvement.

Per a blog post on Ismail's website, "Vlambeer never quite fully 'shut down'," but has rather been in a state of limbo since its founders announced its closure all the way back in 2020. Despite the "dwindling amounts of time we had for it," Ismail and Nijman "tried to keep up with customer support & maintenance," for the studio's catalogue of games. "It felt like a strange limbo in which neither of us could commit the time and effort Vlambeer needed to be maintained, but both of us were dependent on each other to take any action," said Ismail.

The pair decided it would be best to concentrate the company in a single pair of hands, eventually deciding those hands should be Nijman's, whose "current work still closely aligns with the aesthetics of the studio." 

So, Vlambeer's back. Which is great news, if you ask me. The studio put out some solid games in its time, and its sudden passing always felt very bittersweet. It sounds like Nijman already has plans: In further tweets, he announced ambitions to finally release the studio's much-anticipated (and formerly-final) game Ultrabugs, update Ridiculous Fishing EX, and to "preserve the classic Vlambeer games, and make sure they get the maintenance they need to stay playable far into the future." Sounds like a pretty good welcome back party to me.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.