Grin, the studio behind Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries, has filed for bankruptcy.

Belgium-based Grin, not to be confused with the Swedish developer of Bionic Commando that went by the same name, fell by the wayside due to financial difficulties.

2378 backers pledged $72,139 towards the Kickstarter for Woolfe, described as a "cinematic fairy tale platformer" for PC starring a "vengeful" Red Riding Hood.

It launched on Steam priced Ł6.99 back in March to mixed reviews. We hadn't heard from the developer since. This radio silence, Grin founder Wim Wouters wrote in a new update on the Woolfe Kickstarter page, was "out of shame".

"I guess our public silence the last few months already said a lot," he wrote.

"It is not out of disrespect that our communication dropped to almost zero... it is out of shame. It is truly devastating to read the negative comments we received by some press and players. With Woolfe being the most passion driven thing we have ever created, it feels horrible to live with the feeling we let you down."

It sounds like Woolfe simply failed to sell enough copies to keep Grin going.

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"At first we could not believe that our 'baby' was not more successful, in our emotions we started looking for explanations not related to the game," Wouters wrote.

"Maybe gamers are just spoilt brats, bashing on everything, maybe there is an oversaturation of indie market, maybe all the free-to-play games by big studios are giving players a false sense of value. How could less than $10 be to expensive for a beautiful game like Woolfe? How could this be our fault?

"Of course none of the emotional excuses above are the reason of our mixed steam rating. We can only blame ourselves..."

Wouters blamed Woolfe's failure on a lack of experience and the costs associated with the decision to switch from creating a 2D game to a 3D game.

As a result of the bankruptcy, Grin is unable to honour some Kickstarter rewards, Wouters said.

"The crazy thing is, that we have most of the rewards ready for postage," he explained.

"All the backer stickers and letters of enlistment just need a stamp. All the poster sets printed, signed and ready. The artbook is ready to be printed, the soundtrack is ready for distribution, the DVD case is ready for production. But we have literally no money whatsoever to pay for stamps, let alone print the artbooks and DVD cases."

The news was met with a degree of sympathy from Kickstarter backers, some of whom asked Wouters to rewards such as posters and artwork digitally.

Meanwhile, plans for Woolfe Volume 2 have been shelved, as you'd expect.

"With the low rating of Volume 1, all interested publishers have backed off and we no longer have the financial means to self-publish," Wouters said.

Wouters left the door open for other developers to pick up the Woolfe assets and create a game with them. "Maybe they can achieve what we were unable to accomplish," he said.

"If our visual style is our strongest element we should make this available for others who are stronger at making gameplay. We would want nothing more than that the legacy of Woolfe would live on forever, or at least longer than a few months."

Woolfe, its assets and source code are now up for sale.

"As for me, I going to take it easy the next couple of weeks/months, but I have learnt so much about game development the past few years and I don't plan on letting that knowledge go to waste," Wouters said.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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