2018 saw some major successes from independent video game studios, but also saw a fair number of studios closing. Unfortunately, it sounds like the latter may soon be the case for Sweden-based game developer, Forgotten Key.
According to a post from the head of Forgotten Key, Robin Hjelte, the studio is preparing to shut its doors after a seven year run.
The studio is responsible for the atmospheric exploration adventure, AER Memories of Old, which allows players to transform into a bird and explore various floating islands in the sky.
The game - released in late 2017 - was well-received, maintaining a “Very Positive” user review rating on Steam, but according to Hjelte’s post, the studio has simply been unable to find investors for their other projects currently in development.
“The last few years for us was much about finalizing and releasing AER Memories of Old, including porting and patching,” Hjelte wrote. “That time was also about finding the next project, to fit in with how the market moves and try to find ways to sustain a growing studio. This is something we ultimately failed to do in a sustainable way even though our efforts bore fruit for a while.”
Hjelte went on to express gratitude to the fans, as well as Forgotten Key’s team members, before listing them all out with contact information in hopes of finding them work, should the studio shut down for good.
As a final attempt to possibly catch the interest of a potential investor, Forgotten Key has released playable demos of the projects that the studio was working on for absolutely free. The titles include: Down the Well, “an underground adventure inspired by Scandinavian folklore;” Vind, a narrative flight exploration adventure in the same vein as AER, but taking place in a new world and story. Vind is not a sequel to AER, rather a continuation in the spirit of AER.
Both games look whimsically charming - and in the case of Down the Well, hauntingly beautiful. A market certainly exists for the games that Forgotten Key is creating. Hopefully a last-second investor can help Forgotten Key keep their hopes (and studio) afloat.