Hand Of Fate Makers Are ‘Ceasing Development’

Hand Of Fate Makers Are ‘Ceasing Development’
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

The Queensland-based studio behind the Hand of Fate games, Defiant Development, has announced on Facebook that they are “ceasing development” on new titles and switching to “caretaker mode to support our existing products”.

Defiant was founded nine years ago and has been one of the shining lights of Australian indie development in the years since, but the studio’s future has effectively come to an end as of Wednesday. “The games market has changed in ways both big and small in the 9 years we’ve been in business,” Defiant wrote on their Facebook page and Twitter.

“We have not been able to change quickly enough to continue with them,” the post says.

As a way of honouring their efforts, Defiant posted a short trailer on YouTube showing what would have been their next project: A World In My Attic. A digitised board game featuring hexes, the video showcases some features that look similar to the procedurally generated encounter system first used in Hand of Fate.

Defiant closed their announcement by thanking all staff who supported the team at any point over the last nine years, both fans and employees. “Thank you so much for sharing your work and yourselves. Studios rise and studios fall, but people are always more important,” the studio wrote.

Morgan Jaffit, the founder of Defiant and one of the longest standing representatives for the video game industry in Australia, wrote on Twitter that he was “exceptionally sad”.

The Art Of Hand Of Fate 2

It's always a good day when we get to feature the work of Australian games and artists, and an even better one when the game in question happens to be Hand of Fate 2.

Read more

This story is developing…


  • This is incredibly sad to hear. Hand of Fate and Hand of Fate 2 are both brilliant games, and I would have loved to see what the studio does next.

  • All I can say is thank you for HoF 1, 2 and the board game! If people are leaving to make or join other studios, best of luck to you.

  • That is indeed tragic, the HoF franchise is fantastic. Two games over nine years, plus a couple of older mobile titles, really doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room to weather slow periods – I guess that’s sadly the curse of indie developers everywhere.

  • I’ve bought Hand of Fate and its sequel several times, across multiple platforms (all of which started with a free kickstarter key from… I think it was Tigerion, might’ve been Mawt or Beavwa) and I regret none of those purchases.

    There’s not a lot of games can convince me to do that. Sad to hear that encouraging that level of repeat purchasing wasn’t enough.

    • Got me thinking about the list of games that have, in fact, convinced me to buy them multiple times and/or on multiple platforms:

      AC4: Black Flag
      Diablo 2 + Expansions (mostly because of lost CDs, but whatever, it still counts)
      Planescape: Torment
      Theme Park
      Va-11 Hall-A (SO GOOD)
      Civilization [insert number here] (like… every platform. All of them. Ever. EVEN MOBILE.)
      Syndicate Wars
      Crusader: No [insert emotion here]
      Galactic Civilizations 2-3
      The Surge
      Final Fantasy XV
      Monster Hunter: World
      Witcher series

      Off the top of my head. Pretty sure I have multiple copies of Warcraft versions and Starcraft, too.

  • It’s always sad to hear when an Aussie studio closes down. Hopefully everyone lands on their feet.

    Out of genuine curiosity I wonder if Steam’s revenue share had anything to do with it. If it isn’t actually contributing to developer finance issues then it means that Epic’s claims of a fairer world for developers is full of crap.

  • Super sad news. Defiant were genuinely great, and they were really engaged with their player base and taking feedback. I wrote pages of critique when Hand of Fate was in early access, and their designers took the time to discuss and talk over different ideas for improving the game and the gameplay. Then when I rocked up to PAX, they knew me by handle and were super friendly and willing to chat and keep on talking.

    I could not speak more highly of these guys, especially compared to some devs in early access whose responses have been “I like the game the way it is, so I don’t care what you think.” The people at Defiant were awesome, cared about their games, and cared about gamers.

    I sincerely hope all the people involved find new jobs making games and with companies that care as much about the craft and their creations as Defiant did.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!