Danish developer Pixel Pandemic has closed-down two of the studio’s browser-based games, Zombie Pandemic and Mutant Badlands. The company has also revealed that studio will shut-down operations entirely on 1 July.
Pixel Pandemic was founded in 2009 by Thomas Krogh-Jacobsen, Ebbe Haabendal Brandstrup and Kristian Dahl in Copenhagen. The studio drew a lot attention with their early release of Zombie Pandemic, a persistent browser-based post-apocalyptic title that featured hardcore RPG elements, a text-based storyline and a complex combat system.
In 2010, Pixel Pandemic attracted business angel seed investment, and re-launched Zombie Pandemic as a freemium game, followed in 2011 by the release of Mutant Badlands, co-financed by CAPNOVA and a second round of business angel investment.
Zombie Pandemic trailer:
Both games used a game engine based on HTML5 and .NET technology, developed in-house by Pixel Pandemic. The developer was among the first game studios worldwide to adopt the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform and was featured in the Azure Microsoft showcase internationally.
Pixel Pandemic also secured publishing deals with Bigpoint, WildTangent, PopMog and Kongregate, complemented by Facebook.
Mutant Badlands trailer:
In 2012, the studio was selected among 15 Bizspark EU finalists out of 16,000 start-up applicants and was nominated as a “top three” candidate for Ernst & Young’s ”Entrepreneur of the Year” award in the start-up category the same year.
Zombie Pandemic was also accepted in the Windows Phone App Campus program, among the first titles to launch on Windows Phone, and the company grew to an international team with 13 full-time employees and 17 freelancers, with a user base of 2.8 million registered players.
However as the games industry – including the studio’s browser game segment – developed rapidly over the period, increased competition from larger browser game studios raised production costs significantly. Pixel Pandemic struggled to maintain cash-flow from their aging first two releases, and failed to secure financing for development of a new title to scale the studio’s business further.
In early 2014, Pixel Pandemic’s founders and investors decided to cease all new development and operate their two games as long as the titles were profitable – with plans to ultimately close-down the company in 2015, by gradually scaling down the studio’s headcount while offering the company’s development expertise as work-for-hire.
On 6 December 2014, Pixel Pandemic suspended all in-game purchase options in their titles and announced a scheduled shut-down of their games on 31 May 2015.
“The founders thank everyone who contributed to the (Pixel Pandemic) project,” said Pixel Pandemic CEO and co-founder Thomas Krogh-Jacobsen in a statement, “in particular those who have been part of the development team over the years, our biz angels and investors.”
Learn more about Pixel Pandemic at www.pixelpandemic.net.