Stray Souls Developers Shut Down: the Small, Controversial Jukai Studio Is No More

The developers behind Stray Souls will be shutting down due to review bombs, threats, and toxic players.

stray souls

SUMMARY

  • Jukai Studio's is shutting down.
  • The Studio was hit with review bombs, threats, and toxic gamers.
  • Versus Evil, the publisher of Stray Souls, has also shut down after the game's failure.
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Over the holidays, it was announced that Jukai Studio has shut down after its game Stray Souls failed upon release. The development team was met with many other issues that have led to the full closure of the company.

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It has only been a few months since the release of Stray Souls, and the gaming community was not happy with its release. Many gamers were expecting a Resident Evil and Silent Hill style crossover that could improve the horror game genre. It was believed the game would start a whole new franchise within the horror world that would attract a lot of interest from the gaming community.

Why Did Jukai Studio Shut Down Over the Holidays After Its Release of Stray Souls?

Stray Souls developer Jukai Studio is shutting down after its game failed.
Stray Souls developer, Jukai Studio, is shutting down after its game failed.

Recently, it was announced that Jukai Studio will be closing down, and according to the development team, there were numerous reasons for this decision. Some of the main explanations as to why Jukai Studio shut down were the fact that Stray Souls was the first game that was released by this company, and it was met with a lot of negativity from the gaming community.

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According to the development team, there was a lot of “cyberbullying, poor reception, and bad sales,” which led to the developers shutting down. These reasons are only the icing on the cake, as there have also been threats to the employees who were working on the game, while some of their family members have also been threatened.

It isn’t just the development team, some of the game’s fan base has also been harassed online by those who do not enjoy the game. This has led the studio to make the tough decision to go their separate ways. The team is still working on the title as if they were a small indie developer, which never operated like a large corporation, so they are able to work on the game individually.

The development team had to rush the game’s production to finish it in a certain period of time, as they were receiving a large amount of toxic comments and emails from the player base. These negative messages spawned after the game’s director was called out on X for liking transphobic tweets and backing racist sentiments.

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This eventually led to the game being released early and unpolished. Due to the combination of the poor reception of Stray Souls and the controversy regarding hateful messages on social media, it was unlikely the gaming community would continue to support Jukai Studio, as they have been let down by Stray Souls and would most likely be let down by games that would have been created in the future.

How Will This Affect the Future of the Gaming Industry?

Jukai Studio's is shutting down due to review bombs, threats, and toxicity from the gaming community.
Jukai Studio’s is shutting down due to review bombs, threats, and toxicity from the gaming community.

At the moment, there is no telling how this closure will affect the main developers in the gaming industry, but it is evident that the recent closures of many different game developers are all following a trend. Poorly received games that have received a lot of negative reviews and have even been review bombed in some cases, can ultimately lead to studio failure. 

This situation has sparked some debate when it comes to vigilante justice, as it shows that some developers are unable to deal with the constant negativity that comes from the consequences of their actions on social media, especially when receiving death threats to both themselves and their families.

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So far, there is no telling as to whether or not Stray Souls will be completed to the extent that Jukai Studio intended, but the premise is still a promising idea. If done right, it could even revive many players’ love for games that have a Silent Hill vibe to them.

With the closure of Jukai Studio, there has also been the closure of its publisher, Versus Evil, which due to the failure of Stray Souls and the constant abuse from the gaming community, has also closed down. This might have affected the future of the gaming industry in ways we cannot fathom, as they may have been the next big producer of great horror titles.

At the moment, we do not know how much this will ultimately affect the gaming industry as a whole. What is clear is that harassment, threats, and review bombing are actions that do have an affect, whether they are done in the name of retribution for aligning oneself with a despicable way of thinking or not.

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Written by Liam Magee

Articles Published: 521

Liam is a writer who loves to spend his time gaming, streaming, playing board games, and just talking about games in general. He will play pretty much any game you put in front of him, but he absolutely loves soul-like games the most, or anything story-driven.