Lightforge Games Laying Off Team Amid Funding Concerns

lightforge games

Lightforge Games is the latest studio to be hit by the ongoing struggles of the gaming industry, with the team confirming it’s ‘downsizing to a skeleton crew’ at the end of May and pausing the development of Project O.R.C.S., the studio’s first game. This news comes after a ‘lengthy period’ of investor forums and publisher meetings, all of which resulted in the inability to secure funding to support the project moving forward.

An Ambitious Idea

Project O.R.C.S. is an ambitious effort from the minds of Blizzard and Epic Games alumni that has been in development since 2021. Back then, Lightforge Games was able to secure solid funding to kickstart the development of O.R.C.S., which was penned as being a cross-platform ‘social experience’ with unparalleled world-building and ‘unprecedented freedom’.

In one claim from the studio, Project O.R.C.S. would have offered elements of Minecraft fused with the sandbox story-telling mechanics of a TTRPG. Unfortunately, those intense levels of creativity won’t be realised anytime soon, as this all-remote studio is effectively being sunsetted.

In a statement on LinkedIn, the CEO of Lightforge, Matt Schembari, said:

While today is a sad day for Lightforge, I’m very proud of the work we’ve done and the team we’ve built over the past four years. We always knew this was an ambitious long-shot of a project, but we pursued it because of a shared passion in collaborative storytelling and with a fearlessness to do something different both as a project and as a studio.

Nothing was ever revealed about Project O.R.C.S., but the project still managed to pick up an eager following as gamers and prospective fans flocked to the veteran-backed capabilities of this new studio. Sadly, it was further confirmed by Lightforge Games that the community’s Discord server and social media profiles will be shut down (perhaps temporarily) while an effort to regroup takes place.

Dropping to a ‘skeleton crew’ means that Lightforge Games intends to return in the future, but at this tentative time, nothing is being guaranteed.

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