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Puny Human shutting down after client refused to send payments

16-year-old studio helped co-develop The Callisto Protocol, The Bard's Tale 4 and more

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US developer Puny Human has announced it is in the process of shutting down after 16 years of operations.

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the company is currently operating with just two full-time employees, having laid off fourteen during the summer and another two leaving voluntarily.

The remaining staff have begun liquidating company assets and seeking buyers for Puny Human's intellectual properties. They are also looking into the possibility of making those it is unable to sell open source.

The studio expects to be completely shut down by the end of 2023.

In a statement, CEO and studio manager Mike Sanders cited unpaid payments for co-development work as the biggest factor in the company's collapse.

"After several months of necessary silence on the topic, I am announcing unplanned layoffs from earlier this year, and that will continue as we seek to minimise all our future video game development efforts," he wrote.

"Taking Puny Human from a full-time staff of twenty hardworking individuals in 2023 to zero is heartbreaking and difficult to reveal to our communities, advocates, and friends.

"Unfortunately, a client refused previously agreed-upon payments, which deprived us of the cash flow to fully pitch our in-progress title and triggered successive failures in our operating income. I take full responsibility for not sufficiently preparing for this outcome."

Formed in 2007 as a "spiritual continuation" of the Team Dystopia modding group, Puny Human was initially known for original IP such as Dystopia, Blade Symphony and Galacide.

In 2016, it branched into co-development and has provided support for titles such as The Callisto Protocol, The Bard's Tale 4, Tribes of Midgard and Trover Saves The Universe.

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James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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