Turns out we aren't as good at selling games as we thought! It's time for a radical change!
Looking at our busy release schedule you probably wouldn’t have guessed, but in the last two months of 2013 our office has been largely empty.
There was no programming, no designing, no fun to be had, just co-founders Martijn and Collin taking care of the business end of things. In this case the ‘business end’ can be taken quite literally. The old Two Tribes, founded in 2001, doesn’t exist anymore and we had to send everyone home.
Before we go into details…
- The old Two Tribes B.V., who employed the developers, is now gone.
- Its parent company, Two Tribes Publishing B.V., that owns and publishes all our games and handles all contracts, remains unaffected.
- A new daughter company has been formed and it will handle the development of future titles.
- The original founders Martijn Reuvers and Collin van Ginkel aren’t going anywhere.
With that out of the way, let’s say goodbye first.
Bye Old Friend!
We’ve been making games for more than 13 years, so you can imagine how much it - quite frankly - sucks when after a four minute meeting at the courthouse, the company we built was no more. At the same time, we knew we were kinda stuck in the past and this was our chance to change things drastically.
In 2009 we started the transition from doing work for hire to becoming the Indie studio we had always wanted to be. We’re super proud of what we’ve achieved in recent years, but the company that resulted from that transition still held on to too many ideas and values from the old days. It’s difficult to make fundamental changes, but late October last year we had no other option. When Toki Tori 2 ended up taking way longer than expected and not achieving the sales we needed, it basically took the company down with it.
There’s a lot to learn from what went wrong and what we could have done better and we’ll definitely write up a few blog-posts in the future on that! But now it’s time to move forward and look to the future!
For the outside world nothing much will change. Two Tribes Publishing is still in good shape and all our previous games will remain for sale. With the support of you, our players, the games will supply the funding for our new titles which will be released under the Two Tribes name.
We’ve got a ton of hindsight to work with and we’re going to be applying the lessons we learned to the new Two Tribes. Behind the scenes things will change quite a bit. We’ve decided to move away from creating custom technology and focus on what’s readily available. As a result we’ll be working with a much smaller team on our next game, a 2D side scrolling shooter, which will be re-using the existing Toki Tori 2+ engine.
Our focus will be on the design of our games, which we plan on making more of in less time than before.
A Massive Thanks!
We know it has been a rough couple of months for everyone involved, most of our natives spent between four and nine years of their lives at Two Tribes.
We want to take this opportunity to thank - in no particular order - Eelke, Hessel, Meinte, Marco, Jeroen, Paul, Jay and Shan for being super understanding and showing true character by sticking with us until the very last moment. You guys and girl have been the backbone of Two Tribes for many years and for us it feels like saying goodbye to friends instead of co-workers. You’ll be missed! We hope that you land safely at some awesome company of your choosing!