Ex-Lionhead developers announce new game, shelve new game, and confirm layoffs all at the same time

Flaming Fowl Announces New Project Ironmarked Amidst Layoffs and Development Pause

Flaming Fowl, the studio known for games like Fable Fortune and Gloomhaven, has recently revealed its latest project, Ironmarked. However, the announcement took a bittersweet turn as the developer also disclosed a halt in production and staff layoffs.

Founded in 2016 by ex-Lionhead Studios members, Flaming Fowl excited fans with the news of Ironmarked, described as a cooperative RPG with turn-based combat for 1-3 players. Despite launching a demo alongside the project reveal, the studio shared the unfortunate news of pausing production due to insufficient funding in the games industry, resulting in a reduction in their workforce.

Flaming Fowl also created the acclaimed adaptation of board game Gloomhaven.Watch on YouTube

While addressing the situation, Flaming Fowl’s CEO Craig Oman explained the challenges faced by the studio. “We’ve been pitching to publishers, but they all said, ‘The game looks great, the team looks great, but we’re not signing anything right now’,” Oman stated. The inability to secure funding led to significant layoffs within the team, with Oman expressing hope for the affected employees to quickly find new opportunities.

Despite the setback, Flaming Fowl decided to release a demo of Ironmarked to showcase the team’s hard work. Oman emphasized the importance of bringing the project to light, acknowledging the common issue of shelved games in the industry. The studio also hinted at a possible revival of Ironmarked with ample support on Steam wishlists, aiding in future funding prospects.

In the meantime, Flaming Fowl plans to focus on a self-funded strategy title, aiming for a release by the end of the year. Oman underlined the significance of wishlists on Steam in attracting publisher interest, stating, “Wishlists are a hugely important thing for anyone trying to launch a game on Steam.”

The challenges faced by Flaming Fowl are reflective of broader issues within the game development industry, where reduced investment has become a prevalent concern. As the studio navigates through this tough period, the fate of Ironmarked remains uncertain, awaiting potential support to bring the project back to life.