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With funding more difficult to find than ever, Keoken is revealing all its prototypes in the hopes one of them will lead to a deal.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 13, 2024

2 Min Read
Graphic showing five planned prototypes projects from developer Keoken Interactive.
Image via Keoken Interactive.

At a Glance

  • The Deliver Us studio is trying to get as many eyes in front of its prototypes as possible to avoid going into hibernation.

Keoken Interactive's Koen Deetman has told GamesIndustry his studio is making one last hail mary before it'll have to go into stasis.

The Deliver Us studio published a video earlier today that serves as a sizzle reel of its prototype work. By releasing the video, it hopes to get enough awareness for at least one prototype to net a publishing deal.

These range from a third Deliver Us game (and two spinoffs, one in VR) to two wholly new titles, We Are Human and Expeditions. In total, these have been pitched around 200 times, said Deetman and his brother Paul.

Many developers have been open about their struggles with getting funded, but not many have gone this public to ensure survival.

In early March, Keoken laid off about half its staff, going from 45 full-time workers to 20. Prior to that point, the Deetman brothers went months without salary pay.

According to Koen, Keoken's tried everything from work-for-hire gigs to making Fortnite maps. None of those really panned out, and even retooling its prototypes has yet to yield results.

Should things not go their way, Keoken will help its remaining staff find new work. Like with Die Gute Fabrik, Deetman hopes to start the studio up again in a less tumultuous environment.

"To craft, adapt, and re-pitch five different games with more than 40 publishers and continuously be rejected...you start to wonder if it’s really just us that have to look in the mirror again, or that different issues are at play here," he noted.

Tough developments conditions may lead to a brighter future, says Deetman

Talking to GamesIndustry, Deetman acknowledged how expensive making games has become. But mitigating risks has become "very hard" on developers, since recouping money from games takes time.

As a result, studios are in a "neverending cycle of finding connecting projects or deals to survive." It's not at all sustainable, he said, and is an issue that's befallen plenty of developers in recent years.

By his admission, Keoken would've benefitted from self-publishing Deliver Us the Moon and Deliver Us Mars. The former still sells well, and the latter (which released last year), has been a faster "sleeper hit" than the first.

Despite everything, Deetman has hopes the industry will turn itself around and get over its "rough patch."

"[Were] looking towards a super bright future of creatives making massively interesting game experiences," he said. "Keoken aims to be among those creators... because if there is anything we love to do, it’s making games."

Deetman's full interview with GamesIndustry can be read here.

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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