We knew we needed a certain amount of money to finish to build the game, and we came really damn close, but we just couldn’t find the last bit of funding that we needed. […] Last Friday, we had to lay off most of the staff. […] I couldn’t pay them anymore. We gave them lots of warning, so they all knew this was coming.
CTO Mark Kalms, Art Director Mike Hines, and Designer Bob Settles are all that remain of the studio. According to Stevens, Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey left the company two weeks ago for personal reasons unrelated to the layoffs. Lee Hammock and Steven Cheney were also apparently among those let go.
Work on the game will continue with the three remaining employees, paid by existing subscription revenue, which will also keep the servers online. Paizo is closing the Goblinworks office and moving the trio into the Paizo offices. Stevens says Paizo is seeking an external publisher to buy Goblinworks or investors to complete the game. There is hope, she says, since 75% of the game is already paid for; she expects the game will take between 1 million and 2 million dollars to finish.
Stevens further hints that the game’s original Kickstarter was intended to speed up the project and was predicated on additional investment commitments that didn’t fully materialize. Another Kickstarter, she says, is not planned as the team is still working on existing Kickstarter rewards.
When asked what the community can do, she suggested that continuing to play and pay the early enrollment subscription, inviting new players, and treating new players well is most helpful.
Our sympathies extend to the entire studio and its players.