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Vlambeer, the studio behind Nuclear Throne and Luftrausers, is closing

Ultrabugs will still release

The indie game scene blew up during the seventh generation. Whereas AAA developers were stagnating and doubling down on games being made by committee, creators like Polytron and Subset Games were putting out beautiful niche titles that provided a more unique experience than what was previously available. One of the pioneers of the indie revolution was the two-man team at Vlambeer.

Starting with their platformer-shooter Super Crate Box, the duo of Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman gained the attention of publisher Devolver Digital, who approached the team to make a small-scale game set in the Serious Sam universe to promote the then-upcoming Serious Sam 3 release. Serious Sam: The Random Encounter was Vlambeer’s introduction to those not embroiled in the PC indie scene. What followed was almost a decade of exceptional games that exemplified gaming’s arcade history.

Today, on the 10th anniversary of the formation of the studio, Vlambeer announced that it will be closing its virtual doors after the release of the upcoming game Ultrabugs.

Today marks Vlambeer’s 10th anniversary, which is way longer than we could’ve ever imagined. We had a beautiful run, made incredible games, and worked with amazing people, but it is time for new things. So we’re announcing the end of Vlambeer. pic.twitter.com/jZ4dMGxNV2

— Vlambeer (@Vlambeer) September 1, 2020

While reiterating that this isn’t a sad day for the team, and thanking fans for all the love and support through the years, Vlambeer announced that it would be doing a celebration in honor of both the studio’s decennial milestone as well as the beginning of its farewell tour.

To kick things off, an arcade-focused Steam sale is going on through Thursday with many of Vlambeer’s games on steep discounts, including the very rarely on-sale Nuclear Throne. Along with the sale, a prototype for the team’s long mulled over but never fully realized take on a tower defense game was released for the first time to the public.

While the devs will not be leaving the industry completely – and it’s not like we haven’t already seen the duo reaching out beyond their studio confines to collaborate on other games like Minit – it feels like the end of a chapter of gaming history. Granted it’s ending much better than the way Polytron closed its doors, but it’s still hard to not be a little sad about this end.

So here’s to a decade of roguelites and texting my friends gloating about daily run scores. To more screenshake and getting so blindly mad at a game that you Alt-F4 and immediately uninstall. To believing that the throne may not exist, and the cruel slap in the face of the opening salvo when you actually find it. Thank you for everything, Vlambeer – your games have been some of the most fun I’ve had in my entire life as a gamer, and I wish you good luck in the future.

I don’t thank you for the Disc Gun though, that shit can still go to hell.

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