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Midcore spin-off studio Black Anvil shut down as part of Wooga cuts

Midcore spin-off studio Black Anvil shut down as part of Wooga cuts

Wooga's midcore studio Black Anvil Games has been closed following an internal restructuring that saw the German firm cut 40 jobs and renew its casual game focus.

It was previously thought that Black Anvil Games had survived these cuts based on the continuing updates and eventual launch of its debut strategy game Warlords at the end of September.

However it has been confirmed to PocketGamer.biz that Warlords will be Black Anvil's last game. Former Head of Studio Wilhelm Oesterberg is no longer at the company.

Cut short

The studio was first announced in March 2016. It was made up of a group of developers focused on midcore strategy titiles that was spun out of the core Wooga team and given the opportunity to develop their own project.

"We’re very proud of the work the Black Anvil team did with Warlords, creating a high quality strategy game with a great amount of depth and content," a Wooga spokesperson told PocketGamer.biz.

"Given Wooga’s recent decision to focus exclusively on creating hit casual mobile games, Warlords will be Black Anvil’s final game.

"As a result, we’ve mutually parted ways with Black Anvil’s Head of Studio, Wilhelm Österberg. Wilhelm guided the Warlords team through to launch and helped deliver a great game and we wish him all the best with his future endeavours."

No reflection of quality

The quality of work from Black Anvil Games has never been questioned. Indeed, it was said that Warlords enjoyed the best metrics of any Wooga soft launch to date during a year-long testing period.

“Casual games and midcore games are very, very different,” noted Wooga CEO Jens Begemann to PocketGamer.biz soon after the announcement of Black Anvil Games.

“If you run it as one unit and one company culture, it's very difficult to become the best in both at the same time because they have different requirements.”

Despite apparent early success, the game has struggled to reach the top echelons of the Google Play grossing charts, likely the reason for the team's disbandment.

As Wooga begins to focus again fully on the casual sector in which it is established, perhaps it concluded that those differences were ultimately insurmountable.


Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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