Robotoki has closed its doors, according to Joystiq. The independent studio’s debut game, the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter Human Element, is currently in limbo while founder Robert Bowling seeks new publishing options. Bowling offered no explanation for why the studio is closing.
“This week we have ceased operations at Robotoki and the development of Human Element is on hiatus,” Bowling told Joystiq. “We were actively negotiating a new publishing deal for the premium version of Human Element but unfortunately I was unable to continue to self-fund development until a deal was finalized.”
Bowling, the former Call of Duty creative strategist with developer Infinity Ward, left AAA development in 2012 to found Robotoki. The studio then announced Human Element in 2012 and gave a first taste of gameplay at GDC 2014. It popped up again at the end of 2014 with a new trailer and confirmation of a November 2015 release at The Game Awards.
Set 35 years after a zombie apocalypse, the game was meant to explore how the psychological effects of societal collapse would make people (the “human element”) far more dangerous than the zombies themselves, and thus the game is focused more on the survivors than the monsters.
Robotoki was originally developing an Ouya game to introduce Human Element‘s universe, but scrapped that project in order to focus on the full release, which will now miss its November 2015 release on PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.