Indie development studio Vlambeer announced on Twitter today that they would be shutting down after a decade. Founded by Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman ten years ago today, the Dutch development group put out games like Luftrausers, Nuclear Throne, and Ridiculous Fishing. Their final game, Ultrabugs, is still unreleased but is currently available to be wishlisted on Steam.
Today marks Vlambeer’s 10th anniversary, which is way longer than we could've ever imagined. We had a beautiful run, made incredible games, and worked with amazing people, but it is time for new things. So we're announcing the end of Vlambeer. pic.twitter.com/jZ4dMGxNV2
— Vlambeer (@Vlambeer) September 1, 2020
Regarding both Ultrabugs and the question of supporting earlier titles, the statement reads, “Before we say more: yes, ULTRABUGS is still coming out. We will have news about that soon! We are also looking into options for further support for some of our earlier games, but we just can’t promise anything besides that there will be no new games.”
Vlambeer’s influence on the indie game development scene has been significant. Ismail himself has been an advocate for smaller games, better opportunities for indies to be able to distribute games, and has been subjected to the problems of being an indie in an era where rampant cloning is more likely than piracy. In addition to making games, Ismail has also been responsible for utilities like presskit() (pronounced “do presskit”), which are intended to make some of the business chores behind a successful indie a little easier to take care of.
Interviewed last year by Gamesindustry.biz at PAX East, Ismail encapsulated Vlambeer’s ethos, and his ideal of indie development, thusly, “You should be able to make interesting games you’re really proud of that don’t require you to sell your house, or get a second mortgage, or get rid of your healthcare. But those are the stories we keep telling. We just want to tell the story of, ‘We’re a studio in a good spot. We have a great audience. We have a community. We’re making games, doing it without betting the bank, and we’re doing it in a way that we’re still making work we’re very proud of that we think our fans will like.'”