Vodeo Games and its history-making union close up shop

beastbreaker Developer Vodeo Games will be closing up shop after the game, which first released elsewhere in 2021, gets a Steam release.

“Unfortunately, the story is a familiar one for small studios,” wrote a representative of Vodeo Games on Twitter. “Despite a year of intense efforts, we were unable to secure funding for our next project from publishers and investors. So we’ve run out of funds and can’t keep the team together – and there simply isn’t any Vodeo without our incredible team.”

Vodeo Games was founded in 2019 by Three! Creator Asher Vollmer, and unveiled his first game, beastbreaker, in 2021. The company’s stated mission was to release one “cozy” game a year – games you can “snuggle up in and lose yourself in completely,” with “complex, interlocking systems that take years to master.” can last”. according to its website. The studio was working on its second, unannounced game.

The studio’s staff worked with Communication Workers of America’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees and were officially recognized by Vodeo management in 2021; Vodeo Workers United is the first officially recognized union of video game studios in North America. Along with other early union takers such as groups at Activision Blizzard, Keywords Studios and Tender Claws, Vodeo Workers United helped pave the way for future organizing efforts. The group said that despite Vodeo’s dissolution, its members will continue to share information obtained during the negotiations.

Vodeo Games was negotiating with the union but had not yet reached an agreement. Negotiations broke down when the studio was unable to renew funding. This was announced by Vodeo Workers United on Twitter.

“Despite the sad news, we have learned a lot and will continue to fight to advance labor representation by helping others and sharing what we know,” Vodeo Workers United wrote. “We want to thank the folks at @CODE_CWA for helping us with this adventure. We strongly encourage you to reach out to them.”

Vodeo Workers United continued: “And to our colleagues out there with public campaigns who are in the process of negotiating their first contract or are just beginning to discuss unionization with their colleagues: we see you and we support you.”

The company doesn’t say when beastbreaker will be coming to Steam, but the game is currently available on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC through the Epic Games Store.