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Deliver Us the Moon, Deliver Us Mars developer KeokeN Interactive has laid off its entire team due to a lack of publishing options — a worrying sign of things to come. Co-founder and CEO Koen Deetman warned last month that this might be the case following the frosty reception many smaller studios seeking funding received at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC).

Koen and his brother and the studio's managing director, Paul Deetman, shared the sad news on Twitter (thanks, Eurogamer), doing what they could to ensure affected staff would find somewhere else to land. The statement reads: "Heartbroken, we've had to lay off our team at KeokeN because nothing substantial materialised directly after our visit to GDC. We've unfortunately exhausted all our possible options for publishing, work for hire, and co-development."

The brothers have vowed to rebuild the studio, refusing to let the state of the industry break them. Koen states: "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."

It's becoming increasingly difficult for indie developers like KeokeN to secure funding, a state of affairs that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Deliver Us Mar was released in February 2023 and published by Frontier Foundry, which suffered from layoffs and an organisational review later that year. KeokeN is preparing a Kickstarter for Deliver Us Home, the next game in the series, with more information in the future.

Do you see an end to these industry doldrums? How much more talent will be lost before some sense of normality returns? Let us know in the comments section below.