RALEIGH – Puny Human, a video game development company that launched in 2007 and grew to employ a staff of 20 people, is shutting down.

Mike Sanders, the CEO and studio manager, disclosed the shutdown Tuesday morning.

Sanders blamed a client for the closing of the business.

Mike Sanders in a photo from his LnkedIn site.

“Unfortunately, a client refused previously agreed-upon payments, which deprived us of the cash flow to fully pitch our in-progress title and triggered successive failures in our operating income,” he said in a statement. “I take full responsibility for not sufficiently preparing for this outcome.”

The layoffs are the latest to hit the Triangle’s game development community. Cary based Epic Games cut more than 800 jobs last week.

Puny Human has developed PC and console games.

Layoffs of 14 people were made this summer. Two other people left the company, Two other jobs will be “removed” by year’s end, Sanders said. Company assets and “certain intellectual property” will be sold. Other assets will be open sourced, he added.

“After several months of necessary silence on the topic, I am announcing unplanned layoffs from earlier this year, and that will continue as we seek to minimize all our future video game development efforts. Taking Puny Human from a full-time staff of twenty hardworking individuals in 2023 to zero is heartbreaking and difficult to reveal to our communities, advocates, and friends,” he explained.

Puny Human developed several titles – Galacide, Blade Symphony, Dystopia. – and in recent years provided vendor support services.

“Sixteen years ago, a group of tenacious and passionate individuals founded this company,” Sanders continues. “We developed three fantastic and groundbreaking original titles and contributed to more than thirty amazing video games and software projects in the last eight years. I cannot thank our fans, former developers, founders, and wonderful partners enough for their support since 2007. It was because of them that a group of enthusiastic, talented kids were able to build a beautiful tapestry of games, updates, and stories to tell.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Sanders is an Advisory Board Member (Simulation and Game Design)Advisory Board Member (Simulation and Game Design) at Wake Technical Community College.