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Glitch to close this year, unsustainable audience levels cited

Glitch, the charming co-operative MMO from Tiny Speck, will shutter in December.

"This is a horrible day. This is a horrible thing to have to say: Glitch is closing," Tiny Speck announced in a new blog post.

"Unfortunately, Glitch has not attracted an audience large enough to sustain itself and based on a long period of experimentation and our best estimates, it seems unlikely that it ever would. And, given the prevailing technological trends — the movement towards mobile and especially the continued decline of the Flash platform on which Glitch was built — it was unlikely to do so before its time was up."

As Tiny Speck noted, Glitch was "very ambitious: and "pushed the limits of what could be done in a browser-based game".

"And then those limits pushed back," the developer concluded sadly.

"If there was a way to make it work, we would make it work. But there is not. We've been through this from all angles, over and over and over. We've shed tears, and we will probably shed some more, but Glitch is over."

Tiny Speck described the closure as heartbreaking, both for itself, and quite accurately, for its passionate player base.

"We are grateful to have had the opportunity to play with you. The game was absolutely preposterous. And yet, we kind of liked it," the post signs off.

The game will close at 8:00PM PST on December 9, while forums and website will remain up until the end of the year so the player base can keep in touch for a while.

Tiny Speck has already begun refunding recent purchases and promises to manually process older purchases as quickly as possible, working backwards in time; you can check refund status on a dedicated page. An FAQ is available for those with further queries.

Glitch was a beautiful free-to-play affair with simple but beautiful graphics, side-scrolling platforming action, and extensive fantasy lore. It was famous for attracting and fostering one of the most positive online gaming communities I have ever encountered, and for interesting collaborative gameplay whereby players could help expand the world's size and non-violently battle enemies.

It was full of quirky humour - the bureaucrat lizards are one of my favourite memories - and introduced a player housing system whereby everyone could create a personalised space literally fuelled by imagination, complete with butler and gardens. Pat and I played it together on several occasions, right from the early beta, and had a lovely time stupidly faffing about with gardens, milking butterflies, and patting cherry trees.

Tiny Speck, founded by the core team behind Flickr, attracted a number of talented and passionate industry figures including Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and Journey producer Robin Hunicke, with its commitment to doing something both different and entirely positive. We're very sorry to see its debut project close down, and wish the team all the best in whatever they turn to next.

Thanks, Pesmare.

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