What a change in studio means for the ‘Little Nightmares’ franchise

Tarsier Studios, the studio behind Little Nightmares, have just caused nightmares for their fans after announcing they weren’t going to work on the series anymore.

It’s kind of meta, when you think about it. After working with on the project for six years, Tarsier Studios officially broke the news to the public on their proposed departure from the Little Nightmares series.

The current publisher, Bandai Namco – who’s behind an amazing library of games – will be working on it in their stead. Andreas Johnsson, the CEO of Tarsier Studios, released a heartfelt statement online to clarify the future of the games.

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“For the last 6 years, our mission at Tarsier Studios has been to create mesmerizing worlds. Little Nightmares was our first attempt and was a huge success. I personally love how Little Nightmares has gathered fans around the world over the course of the last 4 years. From the fan art, extensive fan theories and genuine reactions, it all has been amazing to witness. Our collaboration with Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe has been extremely satisfying, they listened to our creative vision and took our crazy ideas and ambitions to heart.”

“That being said, it is bitter sweet to announce that we are leaving the world of Little Nightmares behind us. Little Nightmares will always be dear to us at the studio. Since being acquired by the Embracer Group in December 2019, it is now time for us to embark on a new chapter, create new IPs and explore new worlds. Personally I am very excited to see what our studio creates and counting down the days until we can welcome our fans.”

Possible reasons for the sudden exit were speculated to be because of intellectual property ownership issues. Tarsier Studios is part of the Embracer Group, which currently owns the companies behind Borderlands, Metro Exodus, and more.

However, because Bandai Namco retain the publishing rights to the Little Nightmares franchise, Embracer cannot use any of the games’ content without buying or licensing it off Bandai first. And it looks like they’d rather make a new game instead.

Yet, despite the heartbreaking news, many fans were understanding and supportive of this decision.

What does this mean for Little Nightmares fans?

Although it’s true that fans are supportive, on the flip side, there are undoubtedly worries clouding over the franchise’s future.

First off, the Little Nightmares series is an example of developers knowing exactly what they’re doing, weaving an intricately presented story and intuitive gameplay that evokes childhood experiences. The games’ perception of authoritative figures provides serious throwbacks to being a kid with an overactive imagination again. You know, the good old days.

The team at Tarsier Studios know what they want and have clearly done their best to convey their intentions to the players. It’s a bit of a combination of skill and luck really, as no matter how many years of experience they have under their belt, this doesn’t necessarily mean that game developers will always create well-made game.

Take Final Fantasy XII. The chief director, Yasumi Matsuno, left while the game was still in the works. The entire fiasco led to a serious delay, ultimately costing the game a few years. It would finally release in 2006, about six years after the game first started development.

This may or may not have been a key factor in the mixed reviews of the plot and gameplay, but it’s something to chew on.

Nonetheless, it’s all in the hands of Bandai Namco now, and fans can only hope for the best. Considering the praise they’ve gotten for their involvement in Little Nightmares II though, here’s hoping the next instalment of the series will fit in with the rest like a dream.


You can grab a copy of Little Nightmares and Little Nightmares II on the PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.