Australian developer Defiant Development announced today that it will no longer be developing video games. Defiant was the team behind the unique Hand of Fate that married roguelikes with collectible card games and Dungeons & Dragons-style tabletop role playing. In a message posted on the Defiant Facebook page, the studio admitted that it knew the risks it was taking with exploring the types of games that nobody else would make, saying “When it succeeds it delivers things you could never have considered possible. When it fails, it leaves you without a safety net.”
“We set out without knowing where the journey will take us, and we do so knowing that the unknown is not always safe.” Defiant says that the games industry has seen a lot of changes in the near decade that the studio has been around, and that it found it couldn’t keep up with the changes to continue development of games themselves. With Defiant ceasing game development, the team there will be looking for jobs elsewhere.
As a final farewell, the studio posted a short teaser video of the next game they had in production. Titled The World in my Attic, Defiant was continuing with its expertise of bridging the worlds between video games and tabletop games. The trailer indicates that Defiant was originally targeting a Q1 2021 release for The World in my Attic, but sadly we’ll never get to get our hands on this one. Hand of Fate and its sequel were beloved by fans and critics alike, so anticipation was high for the next unique project from this studio. You can see the brief teaser below:
For now, the studio will continue to operate in “caretaker mode” to support the titles they have out currently, but no new development will be initiated. It’s unclear exactly when the developer will close its doors entirely, but it looks like most of the team will start looking for new jobs elsewhere, leaving behind a skeleton crew for the time being to support existing games.
Here is the full statement that was issued to the Defiant Facebook page:
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[sic] 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.
What did you think of the teaser for The World in my Attic? Are you disappointed that we won’t get any additional games from the Hand of Fate developer? Let us know what you think of Defiant closing up shop in the comments below.
We wish the best to the Defiant team in their pursuit of the future and finding new roles in and out of the industry.