Australian studio Defiant Development hasn't exactly been a prolific publisher on Nintendo platforms over the years, but we really loved Hand of Fate 2 when it popped on to the Switch eShop last year – we gave it a coveted 9/10 in our review. Fusing the basic premise of a deck-building card game with the heart of an action RPG, we felt that Hand of Fate 2 offered one of the Switch’s most intriguing and rewarding experiences.
The next game in their pipeline was going to be called A World In My Attic, which would have ditched the card game format of Hand of Fate in favour of Catan-style gameplay. Unfortunately, it is not to be as Defiant has released a statement:
It is with sadness that we announce Defiant is ceasing Development.
First and foremost, that means that our incredibly talented team are looking for new roles. Every one of them is a champion in their field. If you can hire them, you should.
When we started this studio, we did so with a clear goal in mind. To hire great people, to create great games and to do that in an ethical manner with respect for our team and our audience.
In 2010, Australia desperately needed studios to demonstrate that it was possible to have substantial, Australian owned, IP generating homes for talent. That there could be a studio model in Australia that would thrive without being dependant on international ownership. That Australian studios could make console games again. Nine years later, there is no question that is true, and there are many Australian studios old and new demonstrating that Australian game development is truly world class.
The Defiant model has always focused on creating games nobody else would. Games that reflected the skills and passions of our team. Games that did something new. Our process has always been focused on iteration and exploration. We go into dark places, searching for hidden treasures. We set out without knowing where the journey will take us, and we do so knowing that the unknown is not always safe.
That is a risky way to make games, and we knew that. When it succeeds it delivers things you could never have considered possible. When it fails, it leaves you without a safety net.
The games market has changed in ways both big and small in the 9 years we've been in business. We have not been able to change quickly enough to continue with them.
To everyone who has supported us on this journey, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To everyone who's ever worked with Defiant, thank you so much for sharing your work and yourselves.
Studios rise and studios fall, but people are always more important - to the people of Defiant, staff, friends, families, and partners, thank you. May your futures shine bright, and may you change the world for the better.
The company went on to say that they would continue in 'caretaker mode' to support their existing products. It's a sad day for the Australian games industry to lose one of it's most talented developers; we wish anyone affected by this closure good luck in their future careers elsewhere.