Browser MMO Glitch to Close

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Browser MMO Glitch to Close

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Low player numbers have made Tiny Speck's quirky MMO "unsustainable."

Three turbulent years on from its launch, the oddly beautiful browser-based MMO Glitch is set to close for good on December 9 2012. Citing unsustainably low player numbers as the reason behind the move, developer Tiny Speck described the closure as "heartbreaking," adding that a large portion of its team has been rendered unemployed by the MMO's failure.

Commenting on the closure, Tiny Speck said in a statement that "Glitch was very ambitious and pushed the limits of what could be done in a browser-based game ... and then those limits pushed back." The developer also apologized profously to the game's small but dedicated player base, saying that the game's forums and website would remain open until year's end to allow them to stay in touch. All players will be refunded for any purchases made in-game in the last year.

"We are grateful to have had the opportunity to play with you. The game was absolutely preposterous. And yet, we kind of liked it," concludes Tiny Speck's statement.

New signups to the game have been closed following the announcement. Existing players can still invite a new player in to experience the last few weeks of the game, but that's it.

Glitch was, if nothing else, experimental. Tiny Speck was made up mostly of people who created photo-sharing site Flickr, with a few big-name game developers - most notably Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi - coming along for the ride. With its touchingly pacifist worldview and emphasis on community, Glitch provided for its players a creative and welcoming universe that valued exploration and commitment. It is a sad thing that it never quite took off, but not all innovation ends in success. It was brave of Tiny Speck to try, and Glitch's "preposterous" pastel-colored world will be sorely missed by the players who made homes there.

Source: Gamasutra

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That's...really sad. I never played this, but I certainly wish I knew about it beforehand. I love everything Takahashi touches and I somehow never caught wind of this game. Something about the failure of people who genuinely tired to innovate and do something different makes it more sad.

Such a shame. Grrr. Why did I not hear of this until now? It sounds like it was a great idea and I wish there were some way to save it. Perhaps there is. Damn, I'm gutted and I didn't even know it existed.

As other posters have said, I would have played this... If I was at all aware of it's existence.

Too bad it lived up to it's name.

I played this for a while last year - really interesting game. Beautiful graphics, lovely soundtrack, but moving around was quite a pain. Sad to see it close, but it's not surprising.

Aaaaaand this is why you pay for marketing. Over half the posts in this thread will be from people who've never even heard of this game at all, me being one of them. I'm sorry the game tanked, but I kinda have the feeling that it didn't even have a proper chance. The lack of awareness of the game's existence means that there are potentially thousands of people out there who would have loved the shit out of the game, if only they tried it. You can make a great game, but if nobody knows it exists, then you're still screwed. Word of mouth is fine and dandy, but you need a starting population to start spreading it. If that population is tiny, then it won't be able to do much.

Now, I'm not saying they should have spent millions on ads on every damn site out there, but the occasional banner wouldn't hurt (even trash cash-in grindfest MMOs have those, for heaven's sake!), maybe reach out to some gaming sites and tell them "Hey, we made this cool game, wanna take a look? Maybe write a paragraph or two about it if you like it?". There are tons of games I only heard of because of sites like Penny Arcade or RPS.

FFS, freaking FARMING SIMULATOR 2013 has better brand awareness than this game...

Yep, I've NEVER heard of it, and I pride myself on playing MMO's. Someone wasn't doing their job correctly (or no one was ASSIGNED to the job).

Dug your own grave there guys, sorry. :(

This is the ultimate failure state for a game. The developer has said "Yeah, we're closing this" and the general reaction, mine included, seems to be "This existed?"

I'd say their marketing department needs to be fired, but it seems such a beast did not exist for this game. This is why a marketing department is a vital part of a company.

I absolutely would've at least tried this out, if only I had heard about it somewhere. They should start a Kickstarter now that they have some publicity from this closing.

I'll just join the bandwagon of "Haven't ever heard of this game"

Mind if I sit in the back?

Shame.. Seems like a lovely game

Not heard of this either, why is this even being reported if it's so niche/unknown?

I'll write exactly the same thing I wrote in Massively's comment section, to quote myself:

I don't feel sad or even guilty for not playing this game, I didn't liked it, period, but I DO feel bad for the people who DID enjoyed this quirky little game. I feel your loss and may you find another game soon and to the fine folks at Tiny Speck, may your quirky talents gets noticed elsewhere and give you a good job soon.

And as for those who didn't played it, it was definitely a different game and it was definitely a lovely one, even it it wasn't my type of game. I guess that their eternal (3 years actually) state in "beta" is to blame, they actually lanched the game for a few months and reverted back again to beta to tidy up some more stuff.

Sadly, it was very niche (as in, some people called it a "hipsters MMO") and the only way someone could know it was from word of mouth (I knew of it's existance thanks to Massively, but even then, word of mouth alone could only bring it not much farther).

Damn, I do remember hearing about this when it got closed down last year so they could redo the gameplay. When it reopened I really wanted to give it a try, but no one mentioned it, so I forgot.

Yeah, why didn't they advertise it!?

Poor guys, I hope they have better luck with future projects. At least they are going about closing down the right way.

I play this (same name on Glitch). I can agree with many folks that it was probably not advertised enough. I found out through a friend about 2 months ago, and that was because she finally got her beta invite through the mail. The beta label just dropped off maybe a month ago. It's also not a very Googleable name. One of the staff also said that the game cost a half million a month to run, and it was a free-to-play game that offered the ability to buy credits and subscriptions. It also got a bit of crap for being Flash-based.

It's a fun game. You grow trees, mine, explore, fish, build furniture and towers, and fight off a giant bird that wishes to unmake imagination by meditating and throwing stuff into a shrine. Definitely different, and the community was pleasant (although they were ruthless with anyone who confessed to being under 14 due to the TOS). I really hope that Tiny Speck gets a new project soon, and maybe someday we'll see Glitch in another form again.

Next time, get a marketing team. #Derplogic

I wonder if they'll try and release it as a stand-alone game.

Wait, they had the Katamari guy on board? Ouch, shame the game never took off... or got heard of, apparently.

Makes me wonder if another publisher or whatnot could swoop in and salvage this. Not that that would necessarily be a good thing.

And I'm also joining the crowd of "Wait, this existed?" people. I'm not, however, going to call them out for "not having hired a marketing team". It's very well possible that they tried to market it as much as they could and simply didn't get it to tick off. It's only very few games that actually get hyped throughout the web - enough to grant enough users. And the games that don't ... Well they usually survive on the heartblood of their creators.
Saddening, but ... Nowadays it really became very much a thing of having luck in finding that one user who gets the ball rolling fast enough.

the only reason i heard of this game was because a friend basically sent me an invite..
it was quite a fun game for a bit shame it died

Add me to the list of those who would have played it if they had heard of it. I'm not normally one for MMO's but this game looks fascinating.

Ah, yes, I remeber this game.
Mostly due to the trailer giving me nightmares.
I guess I just ended up forgeting about it because I never got the chance to play it.
Damn shame.

that's kinda sad. i would have at least looked at it, had i known about it's existence. blame insufficient PR.

When I saw the older article about it going back into beta I remembered it and thought to myself "Holy shit why did we never hear about this again?". I would have love to have tried it, but I guess I'm not going to get that chance now. Kills me to think the devs are probably kicking themselves right now as the internet responds to the closure with a loud "What? We've never heard of this game before."

-EDIT-
Damn, they've shut down sign ups as well. Was hoping that maybe if they had a sudden huge influx of members they'd rethink the shutdown. Hell, knowing it would stay open till Dec 9th made me want to at very least see what they had made.

Jikuu:
I play this (same name on Glitch). I can agree with many folks that it was probably not advertised enough. I found out through a friend about 2 months ago, and that was because she finally got her beta invite through the mail. The beta label just dropped off maybe a month ago. It's also not a very Googleable name. One of the staff also said that the game cost a half million a month to run, and it was a free-to-play game that offered the ability to buy credits and subscriptions. It also got a bit of crap for being Flash-based.

It's a fun game. You grow trees, mine, explore, fish, build furniture and towers, and fight off a giant bird that wishes to unmake imagination by meditating and throwing stuff into a shrine. Definitely different, and the community was pleasant (although they were ruthless with anyone who confessed to being under 14 due to the TOS). I really hope that Tiny Speck gets a new project soon, and maybe someday we'll see Glitch in another form again.

That sounds fun :D
What was the actual gameplay like? Interface, controls, etc.

can someone who has an account send me an invite so i can play this for a few weeks? They locked out new users unless they are invited from other players

I'm sad to hear this, but I'd likely be even sadder had I known about this game at all before today. I'm probably more on top of the gaming world than most people, even fellow gamers, and I had never heard about this game. Well, I might have heard of it in passing, but nothing that stuck in my memory. Rather than a failure of the game itself, it seems to be a failure of PR.

Never heard of it. They shot themselves in the foot by locking down new users. They failed to have any kind of PR department or advertising.

Care factor: 0.5/10

Me and a few friends have been actively LOOKING for MMOs recently and we've never heard of it...
Which is a shame because we would have tried it out if signups were still going.

Having a little-known game closing because of lack of players always reminds me of Faxion... and Faxion was one of the better MMOs I've ever played :/

I played it for a bit, then it went back into beta... or something. So I figured I'd come back when it would launch in proper. Except, I must've completely missed the announcement.

But like others have said, I'm not even sure how they were ever hoping for this to be a success without any real marketing, I only heard from this through a friend, who is an industry insider herself. Without her I'd never have heard of Glitch until today. A shame, but one that easily could've been avoided if they had thrown some money into marking the game, even blasted Facebook ads if need be.

I'd literally never heard of this game before this moment, which I'm guessing is part of the problem.

I'm generally sorry to see creative projects by passionate people fail, though. Especially when it doesn't sound like they failed on lack of merit.

Throw me in with the crowd that is saying "This existed?" because I can't remember ever having heard of this mmo before. Didn't they have any kind of marketing department? It certainly seems like they didn't if they had someone who's name might've convinced people to try and never advertised it anywhere.

+1 person wondering if they ever heard about this game. I'm sad they're losing their world!

twaddle:
can someone who has an account send me an invite so i can play this for a few weeks? They locked out new users unless they are invited from other players

Callate:
I'd literally never heard of this game before this moment, which I'm guessing is part of the problem.

I'm generally sorry to see creative projects by passionate people fail, though. Especially when it doesn't sound like they failed on lack of merit.

They cite lack of users for their failure, but require an invite to join the game.

I think I see what their problem is.

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