Monday, March 2, 2009

Onyx RIP

Dear iPhone Developers:

I'm sorry to say that Demiforce is canceling plans for Onyx.

Apple recently told us they couldn't guarantee Onyx-enabled games would be approvable in the AppStore. They pointed us to certain areas of the terms agreement contract, but declined to elaborate further as to whether or not Onyx would comply with those guidelines. Ultimately, this presented a business risk that neither I nor my potential investors wanted to challenge. Although much of my own time, energy, and money has been poured into getting Onyx off the ground, eventually I backed away from our would-be investors, and threw in the towel.

The blame should lay with me for this. I was the one who failed to acknowledge the grey areas in the Apple contract before starting Onyx. I sent out the initial announcement, getting peoples' hopes up by calling for potential beta testers. I take full responsibility for this, and I apologize to you if you were one of the many people who have been patiently waiting for it. I always intended for Onyx to be for you guys, my peers in the indie developer community, so the pain really hits home when I say it isn't going to happen.

The good news is that there's no shortage of companies out there planning to offer similar services. Over the last few months I've heard of at least six companies planning something like Onyx, one of which being the recently announced "OpenFeint" system by the Aurora Feint crew. These are talented people and I'm sure it'll be a top-notch product. I hope their business model will mesh with Apple's approval system better than Onyx did, and I eagerly wait to see what can be done in this space.

We're going to pick up where we left off with what we know best -- games. I founded Demiforce as an independent games studio, focusing on new and innovative types of games, and that's what it'll remain. We had a great 2008 with our multiple award-winning indie game "Trism", and we can't wait to show you what games we have in store for 2009 and beyond.