beast crusher developer Vodeo Games will shut down the store after the game, first released elsewhere in 2021, gets a Steam release.
“Unfortunately, the story is familiar to small studios.” wrote a representative of Vodeo Games on Twitter. “Despite a year of avid efforts, we have been unable to secure funding from publishers and investors for our next project. As such, we have run out of funds and cannot hold the team together, and there is simply no Vodeo without our amazing team.”
Video Games was founded in 2019 by Three! Asher Vollmer, and revealed his first game, beast crusher, in 2021. The company’s stated mission was to release one “cozy, crisp” game per year: games you can “snuggle up and completely lose yourself in,” with “complex, interconnected systems that can take years to fully master.” according to their website. The studio was working on its second unannounced game.
Studio workers partnered with the 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 video game studio union in North America. Along with other union early adopters, 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 its members will continue to share information gained during the negotiation, despite Vodeo’s dissolution.
Vodeo Games was negotiating with the union but had not yet reached an agreement. Negotiation stalled when the studio was unable to renew funding, Vodeo Trabajadores Unidos said on Twitter.
“Despite the sad news, we learned a lot and will continue to fight for worker representation to help others and share our knowledge,” Vodeo Workers United wrote. “We want to thank the people at @CODE_CWA for helping us through this adventure. We strongly encourage you to reach out to them.”
Vodeo Workers United continued: “And to our fellow gaming workers with public campaigns, in the midst of negotiating their first contract, or just starting to discuss unionization with their co-workers – we see you and we support you.”
The company has not said when beast crusher It’s coming to Steam, but the game is currently available on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC via the Epic Games Store.