Developer Jukai Studio, the team behind the poorly received horror title Stray Souls, has announced its closure several months after releasing the game on PS5 and PS4. In a statement, the developer cites the surprise closure of publisher Versus Evil as a contributing factor, in addition to relentless cyber attacks, bullying, and disappointing sales.
Explaining why the company hasn't been as active online lately, Jukai Studio says: "There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that we have fallen victim to cyberbullying, received a poor reception for our debut project, Stray Souls, and were completely unable to sustain the company because of bad sales."
Jukai Studio claims that throughout the development process, a "cyber prosecutor" relentlessly attacked the developer and the publisher Versus Evil staff, even sending unwanted messages to community members. Jukai doesn't elaborate, stating: "The matter is now in the hands of our lawyers, so we cannot speak about it any further."
Jukai Studio posted the sad news on 23rd December, a day after it was announced that its publisher, Versus Evil, would also be closing up shop. Parent company tinyBuild made the call, really setting the tone for 2024 by laying off all the staff mere days away from Christmas (and conveniently after most news outlets had gone on holiday). Versus Evil was responsible for shepherding indies like The Banner Saga and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire to market, amongst many others.
Did you pick up Stray Souls, and if so, what did you think? Prepare for another long year in the comments section below.