The Chinese Room; Developer of multi BAFTA award-winning “Walking Simulator” Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture has bid farewell to the majority of its staff – for now.
In a recent interview, co-director Dan Pinchbeck says that the costs of running the studio were the biggest factor in the decision to ‘go dark’. Those financial issues it emerged; stemmed when the studio decided to move away from the walking simulators that had earned the studio a total of three BAFTAs. It now appears that rapture has certainly taken hold of the studio.
Pinchbeck says “we’re done with doing walking sims and story stuff. We wanted to do something more complex, more involved and bigger scale. And that takes a long time to negotiate, which makes it difficult if you are coming to the end of a project, you’re burning £35-40,000 a month, and you know you’re probably looking at another five or six months worth of negotiations going ahead, where you’ve got no income coming in.”
The studio currently has an RPG/survival-horror called 13th Interior in development, Pinchbeck says that, for the moment at least, “we probably just need a couple of us doing that for the time being until that’s really there.”
Because of the cashflow problems, the studio went dark at the end of July, with only the directors, Pinchbeck and his wife Jessica Curry, remaining. Pinchbeck is keen to suggest that “the studio is not closed, but we closed the development team.”
The money, however, is not the only reason the studio is scaling down. Pinchbeck’s suggestion that the team were “done” with the walking simulator genre was coupled with a health scare, you can read about this in a blog post on The Chinese Room’s website. He closes that post asking for patience from the studio’s fans while he and his family come to terms with the situation and figure out where to go next with the studio.
Did you play any of The Chinese Room’s titles? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to spread the #PoweredOn revolution using our share buttons at the bottom of this article.