French publisher Cryo Interactive have announced that they will be closing down their UK offices, despite having probably its biggest ever line-up ready for release this year - seven for the GameBoy Colour, nine for the PlayStation 2 and a dozen for the PC. Instead they are said to be close to signing a distribution deal which will see another publisher handling their games on this side of the Channel.
Cryo have always been one of our favourite French publishers, with a string of innovative and downright bizarre games to their name including Gift and Devil Inside. They were also one of the few publishers which had continued supporting the ailing adventure game genre with any kind of enthusiasm, releasing a steady string of titles including some truly excellent examples of the genre such as The Time Machine and Faust. Sadly great games didn't equal great sales though, and according to trade rag CTW they shifted a not-so-grand total of just 42,000 units last year in the UK. Many of their games sunk without a trace, and some we are not even sure ever got released. All too often we would receive a copy of a game from Cryo, give it a glowing review, and then never spot a single copy of it on shop shelves.
Whether it was down to poor in-house sales and marketing or indifference from retailers we will probably never know, but either way we can but hope that whoever takes up the gauntlet of distributing Cryo's games here in future has more luck, as British players have already missed out on some very enjoyable games.