After 5 years in operation, Seattle-based video game developer ‘the Good Mood Creators’ has unfortunately been forced to shut its doors, due to poor sales of their first title, Mekazoo. Currently sitting with a Metacritic score of 80, Mekazoo was billed as an old-school platforming adventure which took inspiration from the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog. The game launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC at the end of 2016. We gave the game a 70/100 for “Good Fun”.
It was supposed to spark the beginning of a bright and prosperous future for the studio, before they moved onto, “a couple of top-secret projects”, as stated on their website. Instead it marked the culmination of a 5 year investment that, tragically, didn’t pan out.
The Good Mood Creators was founded in 2012 by DigiPen students Jarrett Slavin & James Hoag. They were joined swiftly by more DigiPen alumni. All together 13 members of staff have been made redundant.
We reached out to one of the studio’s co-founders, James Hoag, who released the following statement to Start Replay:
“We are saddened to announce the closure of the Good Mood Creators, makers of the title Mekazoo.
The game was released on multiple platforms late in 2016, but the low sales figures did not nearly meet our financial investment in the project. We had hoped for a very different outcome, and are sure a similar sentiment runs through all companies that meet similar financial struggles.
The most difficult part was to let a team, that has grown close through hard work and passion, know that we could no longer afford to keep striving towards making products we are passionate about. As a small group of upstart students we are proud of what we did accomplish, unfortunately it was not the outcome we had hoped for. We wish each of our team members the best of luck in their careers.
In addition, we hope that everyone who has purchased Mekazoo, as well as any future purchaser, enjoys a game that has been crafted by a passionate and talented set of people.
Mekazoo itself will not be disappearing, it is and always will be something that can be enjoyed by the people we made it for.
the Good Mood Creators”
Making a video game isn’t easy, particularly if you have to meet high sales targets in order to survive. I think it was equally damaging that, despite their hard work, Mekazoo didn’t gain the traction it needed to stand out in what is an oversaturated market. Hardly any major outlets ended up covering the game.
I personally know some of the staff involved and my thoughts go out to all of those affected by the redundancies. Perhaps the most upsetting piece to take away from the studio’s closure is the ending segment from their “About Us” page.
“The Good Mood Creators are just getting started, and plan on being together, making great games for a long time to come.”
Whilst it is upsetting that this never came to be, I hope everyone manages to land an equally great job opportunity that matches their brilliant talent.
It is tragic when any video game studio has to shut down, however with an increasing amount of pressure set upon development staff to sell their product like hot cakes, it’s becoming a common occurrence. I’d also like to give a shout out to @Badellinger who was a multi-talented member of the team and is currently looking for work in the industry.