Multiple reports online suggest that United Front Games, known for its development of the acclaimed open world title Sleeping Dogs, is closing its doors.
The video game industry can sometimes be a harsh business. Often, beloved developers and studios can see their doors close, despite creating popular and critically acclaimed games. Unfortunately, it seems as though United Front Games, the studio behind last generation's well-received open world title Sleeping Dogs, is the next developer to close down in such a way.
According to multiple reports online, United Front Games is due to shut down. Although no official statement has been made so far, there have been plenty of signs that point towards an announcement coming in the near future. A NeoGAF thread has sprung up discussing the closure, while early access title Smash + Grab is no longer available on Steam, in spite of it recently receiving a free weekend.
To make matters seem even more finite, one of the studio's producers even seems to have confirmed the closure on Twitter. "Currently mourning the best job I've ever had, and the most wonderful team I've ever worked with," wrote Jen Timms, producer at United Front Games, on the social media platform. "The end of a great era. Goodbye, UFG."
The news of the studio's closure may come as a shock to many gamers. After all, although Sleeping Dogs did not meet publisher Square Enix's high financial expectations, the game did still do well in terms of sales overall, and did garner plenty of critical praise. Given that the game was originally created out of a failed project itself, it was testament to the quality of United Front Games' development that the game went on to earn itself a definitive edition.
Unfortunately, it seems as though the studio has not had the best of luck with its following projects. Multiplayer Sleeping Dogs spin-off Triad Wars was something of a disaster for the developer, never making it out of its beta testing stage, and development was shut down earlier this year. Although nothing has been confirmed, it may well be that Smash + Grab has suffered from similar issues.
Although its too early for any reasons to be given just yet, fans of the developer's work - particularly those who enjoyed Sleeping Dogs - will no doubt by wanting answers as to why such a skilled studio has seen its doors close. United Front Games may have been hit and miss with its product at times, but at its strongest, the studio was able to create some phenomenal gaming highs. Hopefully, all those involved will be able to land on their feet.