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The title launched in December 2023 but sales have fallen 'slightly short' of Thunderful's expectations.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 22, 2024

1 Min Read
SteamWorld Build key artwork
Image via Thunderful

SteamWorld Build has failed to meet the sales expectations of publisher Thunderful.

The company shared the news in its fiscal report for the full-year ended December 31, 2023, and indicated sales have been somewhat underwhelming despite SteamWorld Build being the first new entry in the franchise since 2019.

"We are pleased to have new momentum with regard to our most important IP, but sales during December fell slightly short of our expectations," said Thunderful CEO Martin Walfisz.

"We believe this is because the genre of this game has not really appealed to our most dedicated target audience and it has not been well-suited to the Switch console, which has traditionally been a key platform for SteamWorld games."

Thunderful also noted that an in-development project called SteamWorld Headhunter has been "put on hold" but didn't elaborate as to why it has been paused.

Thunderful exploring divestment opportunities after M&A blitz

Thunderful is currently implementing a restructuring plan that could see the company make 20 percent of its workforce redundant. The conglomerate claims those layoffs will bolster its "profitability prospects," but noted they're also a response to "past over-investments."

One of those investments was the purchase of Bridge Constructor publisher Headup. Thunderful acquired the German company for $13.3 million in 2021 but now claims it's looking to sell up.

Discussing its publishing outlook, Thunderful said the "planned divestment of Headup" is in the pipeline but didn't indicate when it expects to strike a deal.

Like so many other companies, Thunderful spent years embarking upon a major M&A spree only to realize it might have expanded too quickly. The result is layoffs, internal write-downs, and divestment.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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