Vlambeer Shutting Down After 10 Years Of Games

By Ben Hamill - September 06 2020

Vlambeer Shutting Down After 10 Years Of Games

After exactly a decade spent making mobile games, indie studio Vlambeer, the studio behind games such as Nuclear Throne, Ridiculous Fishing, and Super Crate Box, is calling it a day. 

The studio, which was founded in 2010 by Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail, announced the news on Twitter, saying that as opposed to shutting down on its 10th Anniversary being a bad or a sad day, it is in actual fact no more than a happy conclusion to a “whirlwind” decade. They’re grateful for the decade that they did get to spend creating games, said the developers, and feel as if they had achieved everything they had initially set out to do.

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Ultrabugs On Track

Vlambeer still intends to go ahead with the release of its latest game, Ultrabugs, which is an arcade game. They’re also obviously eager to celebrate a decade’s worth of development and are celebrating their time spent making games by holding a sale on Steam.

But according to Ismail, the idea wasn’t ever to keep the studio going for this long. The initial purpose of Vlambeer was simply to give the pair a chance to make games and to do their thing, which is exactly what they’ve been doing for the past ten years.

Another thing the studio was never supposed to be was a maker of anything bigger or in any way more complicated than simple and weird, said Ismail during a conference call with Nijman and the press. Where the studio ultimately ended up had been a complete accident – they were never supposed to make complex multiplatform games. Which is of course why Ultrabugs is a fitting note to be closing shop on, explained Ismail, as the making of the game marked a return to “simple” games; games with a clear focus.

Where to Next?

It isn’t yet clear to any of the two what exactly it is they’ll be spending their time on after Vlambeer. Ismail, for one, already back in 2019 expressed his dissatisfaction with the mobile games market and specifically Apple’s continuously changing ecosystem that gets released with each new iPhone upgrade.

The era of once off-released mobile games is practically over, said Ismail at the time, leaving free-to-play mobile games to be the only model that makes any sense at all. Since Apple offers no backward compatibility, each new update means more broken games. Which is exactly why Ismail already back then hinted at his own personal migration from games created for mobile, to the videogames market.