Glitch, the fascinating, weird and oddly adorable non-violent free-to-play browser-based MMO, is closing down. At 8pm Pacific Time on December 9, the game, which was created by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield’s studio Tiny Speck, will be no more — though the forums and extended game community will remain available until the end of the year to allow players to maintain contact with one another. The announcement came via an official post on the game’s website.
Glitch was a strange one. In eschewing the usual MMO model and instead adopting a completely non-violent style of play, you’d find yourself exploring strange, beautifully-rendered 2D environments; meeting, interacting and trading with other players; crafting items from items you harvested from the flora and fauna of the world; and collaborating on group projects that helped make the game world change over time. It featured an EVE Online-style skill advancement system, whereby you could start your character “training” an ability at any time, and the skill would continue its progress towards being learned even when you weren’t actively playing the game.
Unfortunately, the game’s strange nature and niche status meant that it wasn’t able to attract a significant enough audience to remain viable financially. There are a number of contributing factors to this — most notably the rise of mobile and social network gaming, and a noticeable shift away from Flash for Web games. Glitch was an ambitious, unconventional game that it seems there just wasn’t a place in the wider world of gaming for.
For those who spent money on the free-to-play game, all purchases since last November may be refunded on request, and those who purchased items in the last 50 days will be refunded automatically.
Check out the official post for more information.