We have something complicated to share with you, but before you get sad just read the whole thing. We are closing Critical’s office this weekend and sending the whole team home. This does not mean that Critical has gone bankrupt or that we will be closed forever, but it is true that we won’t be together in the near future, seeing each other every day and making games together as has been our day-to-day life in the last 3+ years.
A lot of people are surprised by this, but if making games is already a very complicated thing, making games while maintaining a company with over 10 people every day – people with families, kids, bills to pay – is an herculean challenge. We faced this challenge head-on and, in many ways, we overcame it in the last few years, but it is time we face the facts and change our approach.
This has been a hard year for us. Getting Dungeonland out of the door costed us dearly in blood, sweat and tears. It was too hard, but also infinitely rewarding. Instead of a much-deserved time off, we got two cancelled projects throughout the year, for several reasons. We still mustered enough energy to start a third game, and as excited as we were about it, the reality was that we had a very tired team that would have to face a challenge as big as Dungeonland, if not bigger. Our financial reality forced us to do it under a publisher model, in the same terms of Dungeonland, since getting private or public funding in Brazil for projects in the scale we work with seemed impossible.
We sat down to talk and agreed that it is time for us to stop before the love runs out. Our greatest fear has always been that Critical would become “work”, the kind where you go to everyday and can’t wait for the weekend to come. There was a real danger that we were sacrificing all the things that made Critical what it was, just to keep an office open and an appearance of stability.
In many ways Critical was a fireball, burning through all the necessary steps. We achieved what many of our colleagues at the time deemed as impossible: we got a bunch of lunatics together with no previous experience in the area (or in any other area, it was the first job for many of us) and we released a big game on Steam, competing equally with games made overseas. But we had no idea of all the factors involved, and we ended with a legacy of complicated knots to untie. We still believe there is a healthier way to do what we love, and this is what we are looking for right now.
Making games in Brazil is better than ever!
All of us, individually or in group, will keep on creating, being entrepreneurs and daring to do what others tell us is impossible. And the Brazilian industry is being improved by it! Today is not a sad day for game development in Brazil – quite the opposite! The scene is better than ever. When we started there was nothing, this togetherness that we have today, this exchange of information, this camaraderie between developers. All the experience and all the talent from Critical are not going to waste – they are spreading out, joining with new things, and allowing for new dreams throughout Brazil to become reality!
Another cool legacy from Critical is BitCake. We have put up with these “newbies” (as they were known around here) for the last year or so, and it is amazing to see how these guys have matured, with an awesome-looking game and ready to make their own mark in the industry as well. Here’s some shameless promotion of their game: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Tilt/589316237774090?fref=ts
Super BR Jam
Oh, and remember when we said that making games around here has never been so good? To prove our point and to end Critical in a positive way, we are organizing a “goodbye” event called Super BR Jam, which will happen in November this year (in a yet-to-be-confirmed date), in partnership with Nuuvem, Unity and Paradox Interactive.
The idea is to gather a HUGE bunch of our friends (over 30 studios, to be more specific) and make some games in 48h. These games will be sold in a big package, and you will be able to pay what you want for it. And if you pay more than the average, you also get full commercial games made by some of the participating developers!
What happens with all this money? All the profit we make from the event (that’s right, 100%) will go to Solar Meninos de Luz, a school for poor children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Super BR Jam will celebrate the growing indie scene in Brazil, do something good for our society, and be Critical’s “goodbye” in a positive way, making good on our promise of great things to come from Brazil! : D
It was fun, but we need some time off now, ok?
Um abraço forte a todos vocês!
- Critical Studio
Deixar uma Resposta