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Stylish social MMO Glitch to close its online world on Dec. 9, Tiny Speck laying off staff

Developer Tiny Speck announced today that it plans to shut down its 2D massively multiplayer online game Glitch in December, saying the stylish social game does not have a large enough player base to continue.

"Unfortunately, Glitch has not attracted an audience large enough to sustain itself and based on a long period of experimentation and our best estimates, it seems unlikely that it ever would," reads an announcement on the official Glitch website. "And, given the prevailing technological trends — the movement towards mobile and especially the continued decline of the Flash platform on which Glitch was built — it was unlikely to do so before its time was up. Glitch was very ambitious and pushed the limits of what could be done in a browser-based game ... and then those limits pushed back."

The free-to-play, Flash-based multiplayer game was originally launched in September 2011, but "unlaunched" a few weeks later so developer Tiny Speck could address gameplay issues. Glitch's game design and the independent studio behind it was led by Stuart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr.

Tiny Speck attracted top talent to its studio during the creation of Glitch, enlisting the game development expertise of Katamari Damacy designer Keita Takahashi and Journey producer Robin Hunicke. In a FAQ regarding Glitch's closure, Tiny Speck says the company will continue, but with a "smaller core team."

Tiny Speck says it will offers refunds for all in-game purchases made since Nov. 1, 2011. Glitch will end its service on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. PT.

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