Paradox Interactive has announced it will write down the development costs of The Lamplighters League, due to disappointing overall sales. Essentially, it means the company does not expect to make back the costs of development, which are reported to be around US $22 million.
While this decision has been made fairly quickly, given the heist-adventure game only launched in early October 2023, it appears Paradox is confident that player numbers will not significantly grow enough to cover the project’s expenses. As of writing, SteamDB reports the game has around 250 concurrent players.
The game launched simultaneously on PC via Steam and the Epic Game Store, as well as Xbox Series X/S consoles, and on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
Notably, despite a low player count, The Lamplighters League has been critical success, with reviews in the high 60s and 70s across Metacritic. Reviewers have praised its turn-based strategy combat, and particularly its pulpy styling, which is heavily inspired by classic adventure films, like Indiana Jones and The Mummy (1999). As Paradox reveals, this praise has not been enough to maintain faith in the game.
“The Lamplighters League is a fun game with many strengths,” Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive said in the write down announcement. “Even though we see cautiously positive player numbers in subscription services, the commercial reception has been too weak, which is frankly a big disappointment.”
“Game projects are by their nature always risky, but at the end of the day we haven’t performed at the level we should. It is painful but makes us more eager to roll up our sleeves and do better.”
For now, Paradox Interactive has not announced what the future of The Lamplighters League looks like. Speaking to PC Gamer, a spokesperson from Paradox said developer Harebrained Schemes was “still working on [its] post-launch support plan” despite the announced write-down.
“The commercial performance of the game is at a level well outside of our expectations,” Paradox said. “As we have lowered our forecast for revenues, we are also obligated to write down the game’s book value to match the lower revenue expectations. This is unusual for us. As a publicly traded company, we are obligated to issue a press release regarding a write-down of this size. At present we have no changes to the game’s post-launch plan.”
Those who have jumped into The Lamplighters League can likely expect announcements about post-launch characters and adventures in future.