The Netherlands-based indie gamefi dev studio is reported to be closed due to tax and cryptocurrency-related issues after struggling to attract investors.
- According to an ex-employee, on July 22, 2022, Pixie Interactive’s team was informed about the company’s bankruptcy by its Chief Technology Officer. The fact that they were bound by a non-disclosure agreement could be the explanation for the absence of any public announcements from their side.
- Among the main reasons for the company’s steep and irrevocable downfall were its rapid ascension to the market and consequential mismanagement issues in the organization, an employee commented on the project’s Discord channel.
- Before that, the studio reportedly invested an extensive sum of money in LUNO, a cryptocurrency platform, which turned out to be a loss-making step. The company ended up eventually owing a tax bill worth over $800,000.
- As to prevent insolvency, Pixie Interactive launched the NFTVault project. However, this countermeasure did not pay off, having attracted too few investments. “Excessive business traveling“ of its upper management, justified by attracting potential investors, only added to the financial disaster of Pixie Interactive, an employee added.
- The news about the studio’s decline must have sounded unexpected even to some of its team members, which is confirmed by the fact that on June, 24, Pixie’s Community Manager shared in the company’s blog that “they are doing A-OK and game development is roaring ahead”.
- By the time the news of the bankruptcy came, the studio, whose motto is “Bring the fun back to the game to make money”, was in the process of active development of the Northern Guilds – an NFT Viking action game based on Ethereum blockchain.
What is Pixie Interactive’s Northern Guilds notable for?
- Northern Guilds was one of the most-awaited creations of the Pixie Interactive collective headed by CEO Thomas Konig and CTO Wesley Peeters. The game announcement in September 2021 coincided, if not largely anticipated the world’s upcoming NFT craze.
- The developers fancied making Northern Guilds “a fun-first, device-agnostic dungeon crawler blockchain MMORPG inspired by your favorite childhood games. Northern Guilds’ gameplay was meant to unfold “a beautiful Viking-inspired pixel world” in a combination of action, melee and armor combat, and exciting roleplay.
- As highlighted by the developers, the idea of the game production was not to sacrifice the ”fun first” value by submitting to the common play-to-earn model. The focus on the fun-first concept was going to be ”all-encompassing”, given that the fun aspect was ”sorely missed value in blockchain gaming”, claimed the team.
- The whole story of Northern Guilds referred to the Icelandic sagas and Nordic myths unveiling the prophecy of the end of the world, or Ragnarok, the final combat between the gods and the giants. Players were supposed to raise and lead a character among a group of formidable Viking warriors called “the Guilds,” through which they could train and prepare themselves for the ultimate death match.
- The game design was distinguished by rich and versatile locations ranging from dense forests to dark prison caves, and manifold adventure activities from treasure hunting, dungeon exploring, and epic combatting to building a virtual fortune with various in-game NFT collectibles.