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Vlambeer celebrates its 10th anniversary by closing its doors

(Image credit: Vlambeer)
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Today marks the tenth anniversary of Vlambeer, the Dutch indie developer that over the years has created games such as Super Crate Box (opens in new tab), Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (opens in new tab), Luftrausers (opens in new tab), and Nuclear Throne (opens in new tab). It also marks the end of Vlambeer, as the studio announced on Twitter that it's closing.

In an unusual twist, this is sort of a happy ending, as studio members Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman said that the closure is "not a sad day (opens in new tab) for us, but the happy conclusion to a whirldwind decade filled with screenshake." They also confirmed that their current project Ultrabugs (opens in new tab) is still coming, released a "decade-long never-finished prototype" called FFFLOOD (opens in new tab), and announced a tenth-anniversary Vlambeer and Friends sale on Steam (opens in new tab).

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"It honestly feels surprisingly natural for us to close the studio down," Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail told Kotaku (opens in new tab). "It's not really without nostalgia—Vlambeer has done incredible work with incredible people that we’re very proud of over the past decade—and in working together we have grown so incredibly much from being 20-year old over-confident punks to now being 30 and more aware of our responsibilities and our abilities."

"I agree that it didn’t necessarily feel planned, but still very natural and it's probably been a long time coming," co-founder Jan Willem  said. "Both of us were always at our best when we took big jumps together, and shutting down the studio feels like another one of those."

Sad or not (and I think it is, at least a little bit), it's an unusual end to a successful indie operation. Nijman made it clear that Vlambeer didn't really operate as a conventional studio anyway, though, saying, "We figured out very early in our history that we shouldn't really share overlapping responsibilities, and Rami and I met in person maybe a few times a year, often by accident at some games event." And while Vlambeer is over, both Nijman and Ismail said that they plan to continue their work on the indie development scene.

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Andy Chalk
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.