The Sunset of Tale of Tales Studios
I’m sure we have all heard of Tale of Tales studios. They make games that are trippy a surreal and approach everything from a completely different angle. Unfortunately, being different isn’t always rewarded and after their latest game ‘Sunset‘ was a commercial failure they decided to call it quits.
Gaming is a broad category that covers everything from a point and click adventure to a heated action game. The vastness doesn’t help outliers get scooped up and games like ‘The Graveyard’ fall into a murky area of interactive painting rather than a video game. Tale of Tales was always more focused on stories than gameplay. ‘Sunset’ was their attempt to make a more approachable game or as they put it “A game for gamers”. However, Sunset was again a game for a niche audience, and again narrative driven. I even in said in my review that I didn’t think of it as a game, but I still rated it highly because the story was sound and it was something I have sunk hours into since.
Tale of Tales studios has been running for 12 years and has always been reliant on Kickstarters and grants to keep going. It has never been a studio that has been focused on money making and you can tell that from their work. Unfortunately, money is a lot like a jealous lover, and if you don’t give it all of your attention it leaves you for someone who will. They had a lot of faith in the game Sunset and ended up taking loans which they were sure they’d make back within the first month of gaming.
They were proud of their work and enjoyed making it and this heartbreaking line says it all:
“that’s when we should have realized that we were on the wrong path. Because whatever we enjoy is never, ever, what the gaming masses enjoy.”
It was probably a mistake to sell a DRM-free game in an age of Steam refunds. The sort of short experiences that Tale of Tales offered is a dying art these days, I’ve already spoken about my feelings on the end of short games but it still hurts to see a studio like this die. They invested in expensive PR, studied other games and gave it their all. It is simply a dog eat dog world out there and sometimes things don’t happen the way we want.
You can read their full blog post here.
The Sunset of Tale Of Tales Is Still Beautiful…
Despite this bitter ending, I will say this:
Tale of Tales you did what many studios fail to do. You stayed true to yourself to the very end. You created games that you loved and didn’t simply go with the crowd. Like a sunset you may be coming to an end, but damn, you do it gloriously. It may be dark for a time after this, but I have no doubt that talented people such as yourself will rise once more and create something even more beautiful.
I don’t want to be cheesy or cliche but I find that the news of Tale of Tales closing a lot more painful than I’d expect. Maybe I am biased by my love of their games, you can let me know in the comments below.