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.