Founded in 1994, n-Space is a relatively small indie studio based in Orlando, Florida. Now, according to a Twitter post by one of their artists and confirmed by publisher Digital Extremes, they’re shutting down after the unsuccessful release of D&D RPG Sword Coast Legends. The news broke yesterday when Benjamin Leary, an ex-employee and still freelancer, released a statement on Twitter regarding the closure. Digital Extremes have now confirmed it and stated they are doing their best to ensure the release of the promised PS4 and Xbox One Sword Coast Legends.
Here’s Ben Leary’s original tweet, including his statement thanking studio CEO Dan O’Leary.
— Ben Leary (@Polygoblin) 29 March 2016
Initially this rumour didn’t seem to have a source beyond Leary, and there was debate within the community as to whether it was true or some sort of misjudged early April Fool’s prank. However, MMORPG.com has received this statement from publisher Digital Extremes about the matter:
“We are deeply saddened by the closing of n-Space. Staying alive as a mid-sized independent developer in the games industry is no small feat. Their passion for creating games never faltered and their dedicated team has ended on the high note of completing the console version of Sword Coast Legends. We are working hard with them to realize as much as we can for their team during this difficult time and encourage players to keep an eye on the official website for more details on the launch of Sword Coast Legends on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.”
Sword Coast Legends launched on PC in October last year to mixed reviews from community and press alike. Fraser and Jeremy enjoyed their time killing each other, but its tabletop RPG wiles never won too many hearts. SteamSpy is even more unreliable than usual thanks to a free weekend in December, but a look at SteamCharts will show you just how few people were playing on a regular basis. Extrapolate that to doubtlessly low sales and it’s just not enough to keep an indie studio afloat.
A big shame for n-Space, who’ve worked away quietly for two decades on various licensed titles, ports of bigger games to smaller consoles – often Nintendo ones – and generally getting the job done. Sword Coast Legends was their first big gamble and it hasn’t paid off.
We’ve reached out to n-Space management for further comment, and will update when we hear anything. Good luck to those affected.