Studio Behind One Of 2021’s Best Games Goes Into 'Hibernation'

Image: Worldwalker Games
Image: Worldwalker Games

In a time when layoffs are running rampant through the video game industry and it feels like every studio you like is posting a giant wall of text on social media to deliver bad news, Wildermyth developer Worldwalker Games has somewhat bucked the trend. The team behind the 2021 tactics RPG has announced the game is no longer in active development after releasing the last of its new content, and as a result, the entity that is Worldwalker Games is going into “hibernation.”

On May 29, studio co-owner Nate Austin posted a statement to the official Wildermyth social media channels explaining that, since tat Wildermyth’s Omenroad DLC launched on May 16 (and is doing well, according to him), Worldwalker Games is saying farewell to many of its team members and has no project in the works. For now, at least. Austin says that since the studio is independent and not beholden to investors, Worldwalker isn’t shutting down, but is essentially on a hiatus until the next project comes around. In the meantime, Austin says this won’t affect plans to port Wildermyth to other platforms, follow through on its soundtrack Kickstarter, and provide French and Spanish translations for the Omenroad DLC, and the team will continue to maintain its social media, support emails, and merch.

I only played a little bit of Wildermyth, but it was enough to know that the game is something special. In it, you create multiple characters for what is essentially a D&D campaign that dramatically shifts based on your choices and relationships. Its writing is excellent and the fact that it is as reactive to your choices makes that all the more impressive because there’s such a clarity to its storytelling regardless of the path you choose. On top of the narrative strides, it has some really cool spins on fantasy combat, such as a magic system that pretty much makes your mages the Avatar, controlling elements based on their surroundings rather than just conjuring fire spells from thin air. It’s a cool worldbuilding element but it also plays directly into how you handle combat encounters. Wildermyth has got some neat ideas.

My respect for the game is what made my stomach drop when I saw a big wall of text shared on Worldwaker’s socials, because that’s been the typical vehicle for the video game industry to deliver bad news. Who among us doesn’t remember where we were when we saw the Cyberpunk 2077 yellow wall of text? The format has become so fraught that Ninja Theory couldn’t even post a general thank you to fans when Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II launched without people getting scared for the studio. Though Worldwalker’s announcement does mean the studio isn’t doing anything right now, it also means there’s still a future to look forward to one day. In the face of so much bad news coming out of video games in 2024, I’ll take a little solace in that and maybe boot up Wildermyth for another campaign tonight.


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