The Lamplighters League, a turn-based tactics by Harebrained Schemes, has failed to recoup its budget. As a result, publisher Paradox Interactive decided to write down costs for the game.

The Lamplighters League fails to recoup its $29.4 million budget, Paradox calls its commercial reception "too weak"

Update (October 12): On ResetEra, oner person claiming to be a former Harebrained employee said around 80% of staff were laid off in July. Paradox Interactive didn’t disclose the extend of the job cuts, but confirmed to PC Gamer that the studio was “significantly reduced over the summer as the game entered its last phase of development and launch preparations.” 

As Paradox announced on its official website, the launch of The Lamplighters League was below expectations.

“Even though we see cautiously positive player numbers in subscription services, the commercial reception has been too weak, which is frankly a big disappointment,” Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester said in a statement. “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.”

As a result, Paradox will recognize all capitalized development costs for The Lamplighters League, which amounted to SEK 320 million ($29.4 million), as costs in the fourth quarter of 2023. Part of this sum, SEK 171 million ($15.7 million), will be written off.

The company expects the game’s impact on profit before tax to be SEK 248 million ($22.8 million).

The Lamplighters League is a turn-based tactics game that combines elements of RPG, stealth, and strategy. Its developer Harebrained Schemes is best known for Shadowrun, a series of cyberpunk tactical RPGs, and was acquired by Paradox Interactive for $7.5 million in 2018.

Launched on October 3, the PC version of The Lamplighters League received generally positive reviews from critics, with an average score of 75 on Metacritic. The reception for the Xbox version was more mixed — 68/100.

Paradox hasn’t disclosed the sales figures, but it is fair to assume that they were far from good. On Steam, the game currently has a 73% rating based on just 138 user reviews. According to SteamDB, it only peaked at 773 concurrent players.

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