The Lamplighters League, the latest entry from developer Harebrained Schemes suffered a disappointing launch earlier this month. Only days after launch, Publisher Paradox Interactive revealed the release had lower-than-expected sales and called it a “big disappointment”. It was seeing “cautiously positive” player numbers in Xbox Game Pass, however.
Now, in a surprising announcement, Paradox is splitting from the developer Harebrained entirely.
“The separation is the result of a mutual agreement, stemming from each party’s strategic and creative priorities,” says the announcement from Paradox today. The move will occur on January 1, 2024, with Harebrained set to give post-launch support to The Lamplighters League through 2023.
Before being acquired by Paradox in 2018, Harebrained Schemes was known for its RPG franchise Shadowrun and the mecha-based strategy game BattleTech. The Lamplighters League is the first game the studio put forth under Paradox’s wing, which cost the publisher a $22 Million write-down due to the low commercial reception.
“We and [Harebrained Schemes’] leadership have been discussing what would happen after the release of The Lamplighters League, but a new project or sequel in the same genre was not in line with our portfolio plans,” Paradox COO Charlotta Nilsson said regarding the split. “Hence, we believe that a separation would be the best way forward. We’re very happy that this talented, gifted studio has the chance to continue and can’t wait to see what they will make next.”
Interestingly, Paradox will remain the owner of The Lamplighters League IP and even other games developed by the studio.
“Our studio mission remains the same: to make games that challenge your mind and touch your heart,” adds Brian Poel, Studio Operations Manager of Harebrained Schemes. Following the split from Paradox in 2024, Harebrained’s plan is to be independent again, with it currently seeking “funding and partnerships.”