Unionized indie developer Vodeo Games is shutting down
September 08, 20222 min read
Studio broke ground for unionization in the industry
Independent developer Vodeo Games has revealed that it will be closing its doors in the near future. The sad news was announced on Twitter just yesterday and comes less than a year after the studio's debut release, anthropomorphic adventure Beast Breaker.
"The story is unfortunately a familiar one for small studios," explained the studio. "Despite a year of avid efforts, we've been unable to secure funding for our next project from publishers and investors. As such, we've run out of funds and aren't able to keep the team together – and there is simply no Vodeo without our incredible team."
While the closure of any indie outlet is an unhappy affair, Vodeo's departure stings in particular due to the fact that the developer was deep in the process of becoming the first-ever fully unionized studio within the games industry. The Communications Workers of America (CWA), which already covers sectors including healthcare and telecommunications, made its debut in the games industry in December 2021, signing up for a voluntary recognition with Vodeo.
The newly formed Vodeo Workers United acknowledged the studio's closure on its own Twitter account, noting that it will continue to fight for workers' rights and to show solidarity with other gaming studios currently attempting to seek official recognition in the unionization market. It is incredibly sad to see Vodeo Games forced to call time after breaking such ground, but, sadly, this looks like the team's only option.
Beast Breaker is available now on Nintendo Switch and Epic Game Store. A Steam port is currently in development and will release before studio closure. As previously noted, the fight for workers' rights — in any and all sectors — is a tough and arduous, but absolutely necessary fight. Kudos and solidarity to the staff at Vodeo Games for taking such a groundbreaking step, and here's to wishing the talent all of the best in their respective futures in the industry.