John Smedley's Pixelmage Games Shuttered

Pixelmage Games closes and Hero’s Song is canceled. Refunds to Steam Early Access and Indiegogo backers are to be issued.


John Smedley, formerly of Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak Games, opened indie studio Pixelmage Games this January, but the dream is already over. Due to weak Steam Early Access sales of Pixelmage Games’ first game Hero’s Song, the studio doesn’t have the funds to go on.

Hero’s Song was branded as a 2D pixel-art action RPG, and Pixelmage attempted to Kickstart it. However, that campaign failed, but the company persevered and brought the game to Steam Early Access last month. Smedley gave the following statement via the Pixelmage Games’ website as the explanation on the studio’s closing.

It's with a heavy heart that I have to report that Pixelmage Games is going to be shutting down and we have ceased development on Hero's Song. For the last year, our team has worked tirelessly to make the game we've dreamed about making, and with your support, and the support of our investors, we were able to get the game into Early Access. Unfortunately sales fell short of what we needed to continue development. We knew going in that most startups don't make it, and as an indie game studio we hoped we would be the exception to that rule, but as it turned out we weren't.

We sincerely value our customers. You’re our most important focus and have been from day one. We’re going to offer 100% refunds to all of the people who bought Hero’s Song.

Pixelmage Games’ is offering refunds to those who received the game via Indiegogo and Steam Early Access and the details on how to receive those refunds is available alongside Smedley’s statement.

Sometimes studios fail, but it’s great to see that this team tried their very best. Even though Pixelmage Games is closing down, their tenacity to get their game to the public is inspirational and I wish the team there well in their future endeavors.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 28, 2016 3:48 PM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, John Smedley's Pixelmage Games Shuttered

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      December 28, 2016 4:41 PM

      That sucks. I mean the game was in way early stages, even for early access. Wonder if anyone will hire smedly now?

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        December 28, 2016 11:33 PM

        The dude has millions and he's no spring chicken. He'll probably write a dumb book or consult.

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        December 29, 2016 6:47 AM

        Guys at that level don't need to get "hired," if he wants to start another project or company he's got enough connections and prestige to get funding for at least something modest.

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      December 28, 2016 11:00 PM

      I saw the kickstarter. They weren't ready. I was surprised to hear this made it to early access. I didn't know that until this announcement. The video floating around doesn't look very promising. The concept talked about originally was interesting, but the execution was sorely lacking from what I saw.

      I think Smed's days are done at this point.

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      December 29, 2016 12:27 AM


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      December 29, 2016 12:36 AM

      No wonder. The guy hasn't done anything great since EQ, and that wasn't just his work.

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        December 29, 2016 3:52 AM

        Planetside 2 was fun

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          December 29, 2016 7:20 AM

          Yep, I don't think it sold well (?) or made them much money but it was a solid game. Also Matt Higby was a pretty good creative director, I enjoyed following his updates.

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        December 29, 2016 7:10 AM

        Yeah I think EQ was more Brad McQuaid's baby than John Smedley's

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