Islands of Nyne goes free-to-play as developer Define Human Studios winds down

Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale developer, Define Human Studios, is winding down.

"I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a challenging couple of weeks for myself and the rest of the team here at Define Human Studios," said the developer in a frank post on the Steam community page (thanks, "After much deliberation and with heavy hearts, we have decided to wind down the studio and end live development and updates on Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale."

"Unfortunately, all adventures come to an end, and for us, that time has come a little earlier than we would’ve liked. The reality now is we are no longer able to financially support development costs despite our efforts to turn things around with our latest update and price drop."

Despite the closure, the post confirms that Islands of Nyne has now become free-to-play and will "continue to stay up for the foreseeable future", with one more update scheduled that will include a credits screen to thank all developer and crowdfunding contributors. Refunds for the game or in-game purchases made from November 29th are now also available through Steam.

"In closing, I want to sincerely thank all those who left a positive impact on our lives- our devoted playtesters, our content creator community that streamed countless hours of IoN, the players who left us constructive feedback, and any team-member’s significant other who had to deal with me telling their loved one to get back to work. Thank you for being a part of this journey with us and we hope you look back on your Islands of Nyne experience as one of excitement and fun."

In a Q&A at the bottom the post, the spokesperson said "Fortunately most of [the team] already have other jobs. Those who did not are in the process of getting hired by other studios."

This latest closure sadly comes on the back of several closures and cutbacks we’ve seen throughout the year, most recently Daybreak, Starbreeze, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds, best known for its MMO games. The media too has been affected, with the shuttering of leading strategy guides publisher Prima Games and Future’s GamesMaster and games™ magazines.

Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff in a ‘majority studio closure’ back in September. 25 employees remained at the company, though most projects have reportedly been cancelled, and subsequent reports suggest even the skeleton crew have now been let go. The layoffs were confirmed via a tweet on the official Telltale Games account, blaming a year ‘marked by insurmountable challenges’ for the decision.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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