Possibility Space shuts down following alleged staff leaks

Possibility Space has closed before releasing its debut game.
possibility space studio shut down

Possibility Space, the studio founded by State of Decay creator Jeff Strain, has abruptly shut down, with all staff laid off from their positions. Per an internal staff memo shared by Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter, the closure of the studio was directly related to fears over internal staff leaks, and the upcoming publication of a Kotaku article detailing the closure of sister studio, Crop Circle Games.

According to the staff memo, Strain was recently given a list of topics and questions over the closure of Crop Circle Games, another studio he founded. This list allegedly contained non-public information that could only have been shared by staff, and in panic over these seeming leaks, Strain got on a plane to discuss the information with the publishing partner of Possibility Space’s debut game.

During this conversation, the partner allegedly told Strain it would be unwilling to invest the resources to complete Possibility Space’s game, and so it was cancelled, leaving the studio in an untenable situation.

“As a result of the cancellation of the publishing relationship and after careful consideration, I am closing Possibility Space,” Strain told employees, following this meeting. “Today is your last day of employment with Possibility Space and Prytania Media. Your final paycheck including pay pay for work through the end of today will be deposited to your account, along with any other required payments, as dictated by your work location.”

Read: Rooster Teeth is being shut down after 20+ years in operation

As required by employment law, some employees will remain on the company books for the next month – but all work obligations have now ceased. Possibility Space will be shut down over the coming weeks, as Strain, remaining management, and a retained law firm work calculate studio obligations and liabilities.

Following this process, Strain will reportedly step away from the games industry to “focus on [his] family” and care for his partner. “I wish all of you the best as you navigate this complex industry and the challenges and opportunities ahead,” Strain said, in sign-off.

The staff memo has been labelled “bizarre” by many, as Strain seems to imply the sudden studio shut down was not the result of current economic conditions or management decisions, but firm questions by a tenured reporter. Some have accused Strain of attempting to shift blame, with underlying reasons for the closure of Possibility Space papered over by the excuse of fear for an incoming article, which is yet to be published.

With Possibility Space and Crop Circle Games now closed, the future of other studios under the Strain-owned Prytania Media company is unclear. Our thoughts, as always in these situations, are with the people impacted by the sudden closure of Possibility Space.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.