Industry veteran Glen Schofield is leaving Striking Distance, a studio he founded to develop The Callisto Protocol. The game, which was supposed to become a spiritual successor to Dead Space, missed Krafton’s expectations.

Glen Schofield leaves Striking Distance to "pursue new opportunities" after Callisto Protocol flop

What happened?

  • Schofield decided to leave Striking Distance, along with chief operating officer and chief financial officer, to “pursue new opportunities,” Krafton confirmed to Bloomberg on September 20. All three departures were voluntary.
  • In a statement, Schofield called his departure “bittersweet”, but added that “the studio is in excellent hands.”
  • He will be succeeded as CEO by chief development officer Steve Papoutsis, who also worked with Schofield on Dead Space at Visceral Games.
  • Last month, Striking Distance laid off 32 employees to “realign the studio’s priorities to better position its current and future projects for success.”
  • Schofield, previously the co-founder of Sledgehammer Games and one of the creators of Dead Space, joined South Korean publisher Krafton in 2019. That’s when he started Striking Distance to develop The Callisto Protocol, which unfortunately missed the parent company’s expectations.

How bad did The Callisto Protocol perform commercially?

  • Announced in 2020 and initially planned as a new project in the PUBG universe, The Callisto Protocol turned into a standalone horror game.
  • It was branded by Krafton as a “Quad-A (AAAA)” experience with “highest level of quality, maximum horror experience, and distinguished action mechanics.”
  • However, The Callisto Protocol received mixed reviews from critics and launched with a “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam, causing the publisher’s shares to plunge 8%.
  • Many players criticized the title’s poor technical state, including massive stuttering. Although Striking Distance eventually improved optimization, the damage was done, and launch sales of The Callisto Protocol were not great.
  • In January, it was reported that Krafton expected the game to sell 5 million units globally, but it was only on track to hit the 2 million mark. While its total sales remain undisclosed, the company likely failed to recoup The Callisto Protocol’s reported budget of over $160 million.

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