The reboot of the mid-'90s cult classic Little Big Adventure games that was announced in early 2022 has been cancelled. Ben Limare, CEO of developer 2.21, said work on the game was halted after the studio was unable to come up with a publishing deal for the new game.
Limare said there were three big reasons for the studio's failure to find a publisher: A general lack of interest in standalone action-adventure games, the cost of maintaining a relatively large development team, and—apologies to all the Twinsen diehards out there—the simple fact that Little Big Adventure is not really a widely-recognized brand.
As a result, 2.21 has "halted our work on the reboot and, for the moment, regard the project as canceled." The studio will instead focus on the remastered version of Twinsen's Little Big Adventure, which it also has in development. That game doesn't have a publisher either, but Limare said the "substantially lower cost" of that project should make it more attractive to potential partners. 2.21 is also looking at self-publishing, but Limare said additional funding will be required if it takes that route, possibly through a Patreon or a partnership with another studio.
Unfortunately, the end of the reboot means layoffs: Limare didn't specify numbers but confirmed that "we are reducing our team size." Despite that, he said he's feeling quite upbeat overall because of the positive response to the TBLA Remastered playtest that began on July 5 and runs until the end of the month.
"With 4000 participants and 2000 detailed feedback forms, we're immensely grateful," Limare wrote. "A remarkable 33% of you rated the experience a 9 or 10/10, and 80% scored us a 7 or higher. We're excited to improve and grow from this constructive feedback.
"The future of Twinsen hangs in the balance over the next few weeks. Rest assured, we are wholly committed to turning the tide."
Limare also said it's possible that ideas for the reboot could be incorporated into the remaster, "but that's a conversation for another time."