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Game Industry turmoil puts classic revival on hold

In a recent statement, NineZyme Entertainment, known for their plans to revive the classic Sierra series with Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex, has expressed the challenges faced due to the ongoing turmoil in the gaming industry. The last year has seen a dramatic upheaval with approximately 10,000 job cuts globally in 2023, a trend that has continued into 2024 with nearly the same number of layoffs in January alone. This instability has affected many, including smaller studios like NineZyme.

The project Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex, which was expected to rejuvenate the beloved series with modern 3D graphics while retaining its classic point-and-click charm, now faces uncertainty. The developer's negotiations with Activision, the IP owners, were significantly disrupted by Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, leading to a two-year delay and a recent wave of layoffs at Microsoft, resulting in lost contacts for NineZyme.

As the industry shifts focus towards downsizing and efficiency in the face of economic uncertainties, NineZyme has had to adapt. Their response includes slowing the development of Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex. The team is now focusing on completing existing areas and the narrative rather than expanding further. In parallel, NineZyme has started working on a smaller, more manageable puzzle game, aiming to release it in March/April 2024. 

Despite these hurdles, NineZyme is still pursuing their original vision for an official Laura Bow game. However, acknowledging the current industry focus on reduction and the fresh impact of major layoffs, they have accepted a holding pattern, temporarily putting their larger ambitions on hold while navigating the changing landscape. 

It would be exciting to see a new Laura Bow adventure. We understand that the current landscape has its challenges, but we remain hopeful that NineZyme will be able to continue development with a licensed IP. Let's keep our fingers crossed and wait for the future to unfold.

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