developer GriN, not to be confused with the , has filed for bankruptcy and will not be able to fulfill Kickstarter pledges.
“It’s done, there is no way back. We tried, we failed,” GriN’s Wim Wouters . “The team is now dismantled and we have requested bankruptcy unable to pay outstanding bills.”
Wouters explained that GriN’s public silence over the past few months following the release of the first chapter in the Red Hood Diaries adventure series this year was “not out of disrespect” to fans, but rather “it is out of shame.”
“It is truly devastating to read the negative comments we received by some press and players,” he said. “With Woolfe being the most passion-driven thing we have ever created, it feels horrible to live with the feeling we let you down.”
GriN itself, founded in 2002 by Wouters and two partners, is no more. His two partners left in 2004, and GriN went through ups and downs in the ensuing years, working on 3D browser games. The studio at one time was making enough money to put aside some for what would become Woolfe, but it was not to be.
“The optimist in me led me to believe we could actually pull off making a ‘bigger’ indie game,” he said about Woolfe. “I really wanted to prove an indie game did not have to be rendered in pixels or stylized as a solution to cut development costs. I wanted to believe that a team of 6 to 10 people could make a game that looked and felt AAA. Boy was I wrong!”
“At first we could not believe that our ‘baby’ was not more successful, in our emotions we started looking for explanations not related to the game,” he added. “Maybe gamers are just spoiled brats, bashing on everything, maybe there is an oversaturation of indie market, maybe all the free-to-play games by big studios are giving players a false sense of value. How could less than $10 be too expensive for a beautiful game like Woolfe? How could this be our fault?”
But in the end, Wouters admitted that GriN only had itself to blame for its struggles.
Looking ahead, Wouters acknowledged that Kickstarter rewards, including the second chapter of the Woolfe Diaries, will not see the light of day. This is the reality despite some of the rewards being basically ready to go out the door–it’s just that GriN has no money left.
“The crazy thing is, that we have most of the rewards ready for postage,” Wouters said. “All the backer stickers and letters of enlistment just need a stamp. All the poster sets printed, signed and ready. The artbook is ready to be printed, the soundtrack is ready for distribution, the DVD case is ready for production. But we have literally no money whatsoever to pay for stamps, let alone print the artbooks and DVD cases.”
The meant that “all interested publishers have backed off” and the studio itself does not have the financial means to self-publish, Wouters said.
The entire Woolfe IP, including the assets and source code, have been handed over to bankruptcy lawyer CathÃ©rine Lannoy. Wouters said he would like to see the series live on someday, but it’s unclear how that would happen. You can read Wouten’s .
Woolfe was described as a “cinematic fairytale platformer” for . You played the famous Red Riding Hood, who is out for vengeance in a story full of “drama and dark twists.” The game was originally funded on Kickstarter, where it attracted more than $72,000.
You can read GameSpot’s 4/10 Woolfe review