Defiant Development — creators of Hand of Fate and Hand of Fate 2 — have announced that they are ceasing development of future titles. The majority of the company’s staff are going to be looking for new work while the studio transitions to “caretaker mode” for its existing library of games.
If you haven’t heard of Defiant Development before, they’re an Australian game developer who had a particular focus on “creating games nobody else would”. Primarily, their work was centered on Hand of Fate and Hand of Fate 2, a pair of games that merged dungeon-crawler mechanics with those of tabletop games. Players would build out a deck of cards and then try to endure a dungeon that was shaped by their own creation.
While both games are rated as “Very Positive” on Steam, it seems that the sales of these titles were not enough to sustain the company. Defiant Development announced in a Facebook post that they would no longer be developing video games:
The Defiant model has always focused on creating games nobody else would. Games that reflected the skills and passions of our team. Games that did something new. Our process has always been focused on iteration and exploration. We go into dark places, searching for hidden treasures. We set out without knowing where the journey will take us, and we do so knowing that the unknown is not always safe.
That is a risky way to make games, and we knew that. When it succeeds it delivers things you could never have considered possible. When it fails, it leaves you without a safety net.
The games market has changed in ways both big and small in the 9 years we’ve been in business. We have not been able to change quickly enough to continue with them.
For the immediate future, Defiant Development will be in caretaker mode for their existing properties to keep them running and most of the employees will hopefully be moving on to new companies.
As a final (and somewhat bittersweet) treat, the devs shared a trailer for an upcoming game that they won’t be able to finish. You can watch the trailer for A World In My Attic below and lament what could have been.
What do you think of Defiant Development stopping game development? Did you get a chance to play Hand of Fate or its sequel? Let us know in the comments below!