Deliver Us Mars developer lays off all staff as it struggles to find backers for its projects

Deliver Us Mars
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KeokeN, the talented Dutch studio behind Deliver Us Mars and Deliver Us The Moon, has been forced to lay off its staff as it fails to find backing for future videogames.

Here’s a videogame industry story that, at least for the moment, has a sad ending. KeokeN, the studio behind the technically stunning sci-fi adventures Deliver Us The Moon and its sequel Deliver Us Mars, has announced that it’s to lay off its entire workforce due to the lack of financial backers.

In March this year, the Dutch studio made the unusual step of turning to social media to show off five projects it had in development. Having already struggled to find investors who wanted to fund its ideas, it decided to pitch them to its followers in the hope that it could find either a willing publisher or backer.

Among the five games were Deliver Us Home, seemingly a sequel to the above-mentioned sci-fi games, and Deliver Us VR, a virtual reality take on the same series.

Evidently, that appeal didn’t help secure the backing KeokeN needed. Taking to social media, the studio’s co-founders Koen Deetman and Paul Deetman explained that they’d returned from Game Developers Conference (GDC) empty-handed, and as a result, have decided to lay off its staff of around 88 developers.

“Heartbroken, we’ve had to lay off our team at KeokeN because of nothing substantial materializing directly after our visit to GDC,” their statement on Twitter began. “We’ve unfortunately exhausted all our possible options for publishing, work for hire, and co-development.”

The studio does, however, pledge to find its former staff new work elsewhere, and vows to keep the studio going, albeit as a tiny concern for now. “Paul and I are heavily beat, but far from beaten. It’s our personal mission to rebuild KeokeN brick by brick like we’ve done before, in the name of our people and to continue the legacy of our games.”

KeokeN’s next step is to turn to Kickstarter in order to garner the funds to make Deliver Us Home. “This is one small step for KeokeN,” the studio wrote, “one giant leap for Delivering Us Home. A game we will build for you and with you.”

Here’s hoping that crowdfunding campaign means the KoekeN story – and its Deliver Us saga – isn’t quite over yet.

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