Video game studio Starbreeze appears to be on the verge of closure following the failures of Overkill’s The Walking Dead and a recent raid on the company’s offices by Swedish authorities.
This incredible turn of events begins with the release of Overkill’s The Walking Dead. A deadly combination of a lengthy development cycle, the high cost/expectations of The Walking Dead property, the poor quality of the game itself, and some reportedly truly awful sales figures have put Starbreeze in an awkward financial position. While it’s unlikely that The Walking Dead’ssales shortcomings are solely to blame for the company’s current financial troubles, we do know that the studio filed for “reconstruction” following the game’s release.
The long and short of it is that The Walking Dead‘s poor sales have forced Starbreeze to adjust their income projections for several upcoming quarters. They’ve also sent out internal instructions to cut company costs wherever possible. While Starbreeze does not plan to start laying off employees or cutting salaries, they have swapped CEOs and made other moves they feel are necessary to get them through this rough time.
Remarkably, the situation surrounding the studio got even worse recently when the Swedish Economic Crime Authority raided the company over accusations of insider trading.
The details of this raid are still coming in, but it sounds like officials confiscated several computers from the studio and arrested at least one person so far. At this time, it is not clear whether or not these raids are related to the actions of an individual, a group of individuals, or whether the raid is somehow related to the actions of the company in general.
In any case, it certainly looks like Starbreeze is in bad shape at the moment and will require quite a few things to go right for them if they want to stay afloat in the coming years.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.