In unfortunate news, Paradox Interactive and Harebrained Schemes will be parting ways due to The Lamplighters League being a commercial disappointment. Paradox will keep the rights to The Lamplighters League, BattleTech, and more, despite all of them being developed by Harebrained Schemes.
The official Paradox website claims that the split was “a mutual agreement,” though Lamplighters being a flop seems to have been the reason. Harebrained will continue to support Lamplighters League until the end of the year, before attempting to seek out new publishing and funding opportunities.
“Paradox has refocused its strategy towards its core niches within strategy and management games with endless qualities,” said Charlotta Nilsson, COO of Paradox, on the separation. “We and HBS’ leadership have been discussing what would happen after the release of The Lamplighters League, but a new project or sequel in the same genre was not in line with our portfolio plans. Hence, we believe that a separation would be the best way forward."
Considering how Harebrained Schemes was a major reason games like BattleTech and Lamplighters got any acclaim, Paradox owning the rights feels like a ruthless move. Not helping with matters is the fact that Paradox cut 80% of Harebraned’s staff to save money, only to cut ties with them anyway.
While Lamplighters League didn’t set the world on fire, many fans and critics agreed that Battle Tech was an excellent tactics game. Hopefully, Harebrained Schemes can recover and find a publisher who can make use of their love for the tactics-based genre.
Although we've seen high-quality games released in 2023, it's been a bad year for game developers. Paradox isn't the only company that's done this, as Naughty Dog, Epic Games, and Telltale Games, amongst other companies.
BattleTech is a PC exclusive and can be purchased now. Lamplighters League is also available on PC and Xbox Series systems.