Glen Schofield, co-creator of the iconic Dead Space franchise, has bid farewell to Striking Distance Studios, the developers behind The Callisto Protocol. His departure comes in the aftermath of the less-than-stellar reception of their inaugural game.
Striking Distance Studios emerged on the scene back in 2019 with the responsibility of crafting a narrative-focused spin-off from the wildly popular PUBG: Battlegrounds. As time progressed, the project evolved into its own distinctive universe, although it remained heavily influenced by Schofield’s legacy from the original Dead Space series.
The Callisto Protocol made its debut in December, but its reception was mixed, particularly on the PC platform, where it launched with notable performance issues. These issues contributed to lower-than-expected sales figures, with reports suggesting that publisher Krafton had to revise its sales expectations from an initial five million copies to less than half of that.
In an effort to salvage the game’s reputation, the developers released patches to address performance problems, introduced a New Game Plus mode, and even delivered its first and only story DLC in June. Despite these efforts, The Callisto Protocol struggled to regain its initial momentum.
The game faced further criticism in March for its Contagion Mode, which sparked player dissatisfaction due to the requirement to pay for a hardcore mode and for lacking certain death animations. Additionally, Striking Distance Studios faced backlash for allegedly neglecting to credit several developers who contributed to the game’s creation.
August brought further turbulence as Striking Distance Studios initiated layoffs, affecting more than 30 team members. Krafton cited the restructuring as a move to “realign the studio’s priorities to better position its current and future projects for success.”
Recent reports from Bloomberg have revealed that Glen Schofield, along with Chief Operating Officer Stacey Hirata and Chief Financial Officer Johnny Hsu, have voluntarily parted ways with the studio. Schofield stated that he decided to leave in pursuit of new opportunities.
Taking the helm as CEO in Schofield’s absence is Steve Papoutsis, the former Chief Development Officer, who had previously collaborated with Schofield during their time at Dead Space developer Visceral Games.
Despite these leadership changes, Striking Distance Studios affirms that its commitment to producing outstanding content remains steadfast. The studio’s future direction may evolve, but its dedication to delivering exceptional experiences to gamers remains unwavering.
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