Ouch. It's been a painful few weeks for the adventure genre, as one prominent publisher has declared itself insolvent, one notable developer has closed its doors, and one promising game has been officially canceled.
On January 7th, Austrian publisher JoWood issued a statement announcing the company's material insolvency. The brief message does optimistically express hope that the company will continue, but for now there can only be questions about its future. The name JoWood may not be overly familiar to adventure gamers, but as the parent company of DreamCatcher/The Adventure Company, this could well mark the end of a long, prolific contribution to the genre. As yet there are no firm details about the future of key titles scheduled to be released, including the highly-anticipated Book of Unwritten Tales and Haunted.
But wait, it gets worse. As recently reported on the French website Gamekult.com, White Birds co-founder Michel Bams revealed that the company was forced to shut its doors in late 2010 due to financial trouble. Best known as the company established by Benoît Sokal after leaving Microïds, White Birds has been responsible for such adventures as Paradise, Nikopol, and Sinking Island since forming in 2003. Lately the French developer has turned its attention to iOS apps and DS games like Crime Scene/Criminology.
Finally, it's time to say goodbye to Ben and Dan, at least for now. On their website yesterday, indie developer Zombie Cow Studios announced that they are cancelling production of the episodic series starring the heroes of Ben There, Dan That! and Time Gentlemen, Please! While simultaneously releasing the first images of Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican, the developers cited mainly creative reasons for the "insanely difficult decision" to cease production on the new series.
Let's just fast-forward to next week, shall we?