Starbreeze Studios has filed for reconstruction following financial struggles. The 20-year-old Swedish video game developer and publisher announced the move today. CEO Bo Andersson also resigned from his position and from the company board of directors.
The company filed for reconstruction in the Stockholm District Court on December 3, 2018. The recently released Overkill’s The Walking Dead fell short of its sales target, and has the company expecting a shortfall of cash come January 2019. Late last month, Starbreeze began reviewing costs and refocusing on “core business.” While these actions have yet to be implemented in a meaningful way, most are expected to take place in the next fiscal year, the reconstruction filing suggests Starbreeze is in worse shape than expected. The reconstruction period will see the company operating as normal.
Along with stepping down as CEO, Andersson agreed to resign from the board of directors as well, which is effective immediately. Kristofer Arwin resigned from the board of directors as well. Arwin joined the board of directors earlier this year, while Andersson served as CEO since 2012.
Starbreeze Studios was founded in 1998 by Magnus Högdahl, and merged with O3 Games in 2000. At the time, they focused on game development. Their first game was Enclave for the Xbox and PC in 2002. The studio struggled financially, but released the successful The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay in 2004. The Darkness came out in 2007 for 2K Games and was another success for the developer. A remake of The Chronicles of Riddick was developed by Starbreeze and released in 2009. Syndicate for EA was released in 2012, although it was a commercial failure.
Overkill Software was acquired by the company in 2012. Overkill released Payday 2 in 2013, and was a commercial success for the company. Payday 2 netted Starbreeze a record profit after accumulating several million in losses over the previous 15 years. 505 Games, the game’s console publisher, invested so Overkill could continue improving and developing content for the game.
Starbreeze began publishing in 2016, starting with Dead by Daylight from Behaviour Interactive. The company has publishing rights for Psychonauts 2 and System Shock 3. Overkill’s The Walking Dead was delayed several times, spending about three years in development. It released for Windows in early November, but did not garner much critical or commercial success.