Narrative game studio Die Gute Fabrik has 'halted production' because it can't find funding for a new project

Saltsea Chroicles screenshot - stylized image of four people in a futuristic workshop
(Image credit: Die Gute Fabrik)

Indie studio Die Gute Fabrik, developer of the award-winning "mutant soap opera" Mutazione and the narrative adventure Saltsea Chronicles, has "halted production" due to an inability to find funding for its next project.

Die Gute Fabrik actually stopped work on February 19, according to the announcement, and used its "remaining runway" to give its employees a month of paid time "to catch their breaths." The studio is still seeking funding so it can continue work, but made its situation public so employees can announce that they're looking for new work.

"Die Gute Fabrik ApS will continue to operate to service our past IPs," the studio said. "Production may resume under Nils Deneken as CEO should the company find funding in future years, and if so we hope to welcome back our excellent collaborators where possible.

"We've been making games since 2008, and are so proud of the work we've put out and the people we've made it with. Thank you for playing our games."

Mutazione was nominated for four awards at the 2020 Independent Games Festival, including the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, and ultimately claimed one award for Excellence in Audio. Prior to that, in 2014, it released the faux-sports game Sportsfriends, which we rated as one of the best local multiplayer games available on PC.

(Image credit: Die Gute Fabrik (Twitter))

But the studio's most recent release, Saltsea Chronicles, doesn't appear to have attracted as much of an audience: It has an 83 aggregate score on Metacritic and 98% positive user rating on Steam, but only 72 user reviews in total and all-time peak concurrent player count of just 29. That's not the whole story—Saltsea Chronicles was also released on the PS5 and Nintendo Switch—but it's clearly not a good place to be for a game that's been out for more than four months.

The looming end of Die Gute Fabrik comes the same day as the announcement of layoffs at Dark Pictures Anthology Supermassive Games, and less than two weeks after cuts at Blackbird Interactive, which is currently working on Homeworld 3. 2023 was a brutal year for layoffs and closures in the game industry, and while it's still only February, 2024 is thus far on pace to be even worse.

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.