The Australian studio Defiant Development has confirmed that it is closing down and ceasing production on titles immediately, putting everyone who worked for it out of a job. The studio was founded nine years ago and was behind the well-received Hand of Fate series. We scored Hand of Fate 2, which released in 2017, an 8/10 in our review with Jim describing it as, “a great sequel and perfect for anyone wanting the thrills of an RPG without feeling loss. Defiant constantly prod players into the unknown and the results are always fun and rewarding.”
Defiant pointed to having a mission to help build a robust development scene in Australia, but conceded that as the gaming industry changed it did lag behind in adopting practices to meet those changes which has led to the closure. The full statement, which was posted on Facebook, can be read below.
It is with sadness that we announce Defiant is ceasing Development.
First and foremost, that means that our incredibly talented team are looking for new roles. Every one of them is a champion in their field. If you can hire them, you should.
When we started this studio, we did so with a clear goal in mind. To hire great people, to create great games and to do that in an ethical manner with respect for our team and our audience.
In 2010, Australia desperately needed studios to demonstrate that it was possible to have substantial, Australian owned, IP generating homes for talent. That there could be a studio model in Australia that would thrive without being dependant on international ownership. That Australian studios could make console games again. Nine years later, there is no question that is true, and there are many Australian studios old and new demonstrating that Australian game development is truly world class.
The Defiant model has always focused on creating games nobody else would. Games that reflected the skills and passions of our team. Games that did something new. Our process has always been focused on iteration and exploration. We go into dark places, searching for hidden treasures. We set out without knowing where the journey will take us, and we do so knowing that the unknown is not always safe.
That is a risky way to make games, and we knew that. When it succeeds it delivers things you could never have considered possible. When it fails, it leaves you without a safety net.
The games market has changed in ways both big and small in the 9 years we’ve been in business. We have not been able to change quickly enough to continue with them.
To everyone who has supported us on this journey, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To everyone who’s ever worked with Defiant, thank you so much for sharing your work and yourselves.
Studios rise and studios fall, but people are always more important – to the people of Defiant, staff, friends, families, and partners, thank you. May your futures shine bright, and may you change the world for the better.
I’d like to leave you with a small glimpse at the game that we were working on. This video is incredibly early, but shows a little of what we had planned to create next.
At this point, Defiant will continue in caretaker mode to support our existing products.
As you can see in the statement the studio was working on a game called A World in My Attic, which was early in development. You can watch a small teaser for it below.
We’d like to wish all those affected luck in finding new opportunities.