We’ve got some bad news for fans of Crowfall: It appears that the team behind the game, ArtCraft, is going through some layoffs. The news initially came from Valerie Massey, who was the Director of Community at ArtCraft at the time of its Kickstarter through June of last year; she’s currently the Senior Community Manager at Dual Universe studio Novaquark.
Gutted and gobsmacked to hear about the @ArtCraftEnt layoffs today. Having worked on @CrowfallGame for five years, I had high hopes the game would be a success. Holler if I can help with recommendations or referrals.
— Val Massey (@Panntastic) September 3, 2021
I’d like to say the game’s subreddit is on fire, but it’s relatively quiet; the one thread about the layoffs suggests that a key engineer, Thomas “Hanse” Eidson, was among those laid off. The transcript of the stream conversation with Hanse says the “team was let go,” that the layoffs came without notice and were the result of marketing that “fell flat,” and that “the guys that made the game are not on the game anymore.”
“RIP Crowfall,” he wrote. “I was high on the game. I’m now free. It’s hard to let this shit go, but I’m a tad salty.” Eidson has been in the MMO industry for two decades, with credits on Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and DC Universe Online.
The Redditors further speculate that J. Todd Coleman himself was also moved to the company’s second project. Our condolences extend to the rank-and-file developers affected.
Readers will recall that Crowfall was Kickstarted in 2015 and went through numerous revisions, delays, and investment rounds over the last six years. It launched in July, making it one of the biggest crowdfunded MMOs to ever fully launch; almost immediately, it was beset by concerns that its player population was too low for a dedicated mass-PvP title and that its marketing was non-existent. Those concerns were ultimately met with code changes to mask player counts and a marketing campaign in late July, along with recruiting campaigns and patches. In fact, the game’s most recent patch came just a week ago, when ArtCraft’s Gordon Walton sat for a lengthy interview with our own PvP columnist.
We’ve reached out to the studio for a statement about the future of the game and the remaining team and will update when we have it, but we note today is a holiday in the US and we might not get a formal announcement until tomorrow. [Update: The studio declined to comment.]