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Tiny Speck's unsustainable MMO  Glitch  closes down
Tiny Speck's unsustainable MMO Glitch closes down
November 15, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 15, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Troubled casual browser-based MMO Glitch, developed by Vancouver's Tiny Speck, will close next month as it simply could not attract a large enough audience to sustain itself.

The game originally launched last September, and had big names like Noby Noby Boy creator Keita Takahashi behind it. However, just months later the game went back into beta, as the team looked to make some large-scale revisions.

Now the game will close down completely next month, while a large part of the Tiny Speck team -- originally made up of the people behind image hosting service Flickr -- has been laid off. In a statement on the official website, company management explained that the industry's move towards mobile platforms, plus the decline of the Flash platform, played a key role in the closure.

"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," it reads.

"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 studio is offering refunds on all Glitch purchases made within the last year. Meanwhile, Tiny Speck will continue as a smaller core team, working on applications outside of the games industry.

"We are really sorry. We failed you," the statement notes. "And it is very, very painful: no-one wanted Glitch to succeed more than us."

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Keith Carpentier
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Very disappointed to hear this. I spent a reasonable amount of time with Glitch and it was indeed doing some really interesting stuff in the space. Sad day for innovative browser based social gaming.

Brian Tsukerman
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Unfortunate, though not entirely unexpected. I enjoyed the uniqueness of Glitch at the start, but tired of it within a week or so. Although the backstory and variety of areas was intriguing, the actions themselves started to feel grindy within a few days, and I didn't really feel as though the gameplay encouraged teamwork or competition enough to justify coercing my friends into trying it out as well.

I do wonder though: would this story have ended differently if Glitch had operated through Facebook? Correct me if I'm mistaken, but it seems to me that it's the only environment through which social games can actually attract a sustainable following.

Terry Matthes
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I felt the very same way Brian. I also thought the the linear layout of the game was quite tedious to get around in. I think Facebook would have been a great way to see who's online and invite them to play with you.