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Galacide dev Puny Human closes, cites unpaid fees from publishing contract

Puny Human is shutting down after 16 years following a client "refusing previously agreed-upon payments."

Justin Carter

October 3, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for developer Puny Human over concept art for Trover Saves the Universe.

After a 16-year run, developer Puny Human revealed it'll be closing its doors. 

Per a press release, the studio will eliminate all of its full-time positions by the end of the year, and liquidate its assets. It also plans on selling off specific properties and releasing the source code for some of its earlier projects before its closure.

CEO Mike Sanders attributed Puny Human's closure to an unnamed client who he claims "refused previously agreed-upon payments. That deprived us of the cash flow to fully pitch our in-progress title and triggered successive failures in our operating income. I take full responsibility for not sufficiently preparing for this outcome.”

Puny Human's significant output

Puny Human formed in 2007, spinning out of the popular modder group Team Dystopia. Over the years, it released titles such as Galacide and Blade Symphony. It's also co-developed titles such as Squanch Games' Trover Saves the Universe and Striking Distance Studios' The Callisto Protocol. 

"[Going] from a full-time staff of 20 hardworking individuals in 2023 to zero is heartbreaking and difficult to reveal to our communities, advocates, and friends," Sanders added. "We developed three fantastic and groundbreaking original titles and contributed to more than thirty amazing video games and software projects in the last eight years."

The end of Puny Human is the first studio shut down for the month of October and continues on from a string of layoffs from developers across the game industry since the summer.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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