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Toki Tori dev Two Tribes closes but plans to 'reboot'

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Two Tribes, the Dutch studio behind the Toki Tori games, was forced to shut down its existing development house but has formed a new internal studio for its next game, the company's founders announced today.

The company existed in two parts: Two Tribes, which was the development studio, and its parent company, Two Tribes Publishing. The latter entity, which owns and publishes all the company's games, still exists; the company expects that "nothing much will change" outwardly. But due to the protracted development of Toki Tori 2 and its commercial failure, Two Tribes Publishing had to close Two Tribes and lay off its eight employees, leaving only its two co-founders left.

"Late October last year we had no other option. When Toki Tori 2 ended up taking way longer than expected and not achieving the sales we needed, it basically took the company down with it," said co-founders Martijn Reuvers and Collin van Ginkel in a blog post. "We know it has been a rough couple of months for everyone involved, most of our natives spent between four and nine years of their lives at Two Tribes." The company was originally founded in 2001.

Van Ginkel and Reuvers said they have formed a new subsidiary of Two Tribes Publishing that will develop the company's next game, a 2D sidescrolling shooter, with a "much smaller team" and with the Toki Tori 2 engine. According to the co-founders, the publishing parent company is "still in good shape," and revenue from its existing games will fund the new studio's next title.

"Our focus will be on the design of our games, which we plan on making more of in less time than before," said the co-founders.

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