Yesterday, in a report from PCGamer, it was reported that Digital Extremes, developer of Warframe and the upcoming Soulframe, has shut down their publishing arm. Leaving an unconfirmed number of employees without a job. As well as handing over full control of the recently released into early access, Wayfinder, to its development team, Airship Syndicate. Due to the divestiture of the publishing arm, this means that Wayfinder is now independently run. Which under normal circumstances, this would not be cause for alarm, but currently the game is not doing so hot.
This news is troubling on many fronts. As this is now another story of layoffs in the industry. While also making things look worse for Wayfinder as Airship Syndicate now has to work on their own for the game moving forward. Originally Wayfinder started with the full support of Digital Extremes. The game would go on to have many closed betas and enter into early access a couple of months ago. However even with the full support of Digital Extremes, the launch of early access was devastating.
For many weeks, players were met with long server queues due to Digital Extremes underestimating the demand of Wayfinder. Every online game does launch with some form of server related issues. But this persisted for many weeks and made players leave out of frustration. Wayfinder is not free to play right now, and the founders packs can be costly for people. Leaving a game once enjoyed by thousands at it peaks, barely getting to a thousand on most days. So where do they go from here?
The Future of Wayfinder
Shortly following the report from PCGamer, the official Twitter account for Wayfinder tweeted this out:
We thank Digital Extremes for helping jumpstart Wayfinder and getting us to this point in our journey.
Airship Syndicate owns the Wayfinder IP, and we have no plans to stop developing the game now. We look forward to continuing to grow the game alongside our players as we take…
— Wayfinder (@playwayfinder) November 10, 2023
The development team is still hard at work adding new content, such as the recently released Reaver King update. As well as nearly quadrupling the XP games in a recent patch. The point of early access is to refine and add to the experience. But whether or not they come out of this with a win considering its launch and how Digital Extremes divested from the games is something only time will tell.
The layoffs that occurred from the closure of the publishing arm is equally devastating. As a lot of studios, platforms and publishers are seemingly shrinking. Leaving however many people potentially without an opportunity to keep working in the games industry. No one should be losing their job, especially in a very profitable industry.
You can read the full report from PCGamer here.