Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer returns, now solely owned by co-founder Jan Willem Nijman

Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer returns, now solely owned by co-founder Jan Willem Nijman

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Ultrabugs will finally release

Vlambeer, developers of Nuclear Throne, Luftrausers and Super Crate Box, among others, called it quits back in 2020, so that co-founders Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail could work separately on other projects.

Now Vlambeer is returning. Nijman announced today that he is now the sole owner of Vlambeer, and he’s going to release new games under the name while continuing to support their older releases.

At the time of its demise, Vlambeer had been working on a score attack shmup called Ultrabugs. Nijman says he’ll now finish and release Ultrabugs, after his “current unannounced project is done.”

“I want to preserve the classic Vlambeer games, and make sure they get the maintenance they need to stay playable far into the future. So many games get lost in time and it’s a damn shame!” Nijman shared on Twitter.

“…and last but not least: I’m going to keep making indie games with cool small teams like I always have!”

Since Vlambeer’s closure, Nijman has continued to release indie games while working with collectives of other developers, incluting arcade dodge ’em up Disc Room and time-loop RPG Minit. Both games felt as if they could have fit within the Vlambeer house style, Disc Room especially, but were instead credited to their individual makers rather than a company.

“Ultimately, we’ve come to the conclusion that Vlambeer is better off in the hands of one of us,” said co-founder Rami Ismail in a blog post about the change. “After discussing what that means and who should be that one, I have decided to let Jan Willem buy out my share of Vlambeer. Jan Willem’s current work still closely aligns with the aesthetics of the studio, and his continued focus on small games continues to fit the brand. His ability to take decisions without having to align times and schedules with a second party will allow Vlambeer a better future. I am hopeful that this new situation gives Vlambeer a more sustainable future – even if that ends up being simply a continued hibernation.”

Ismail writes that his “future as a game developer lies in a few quite different projects that are spinning up that are no longer fit within the aesthetics and brand that Vlambeer has so carefully curated over the years.”

Nijman never stopped making games, but I’m still excited that he’s doing so under the Vlambeer name again, given how many great games Vlambeer releases over their ten-year existence. Here’s an interview I did with JW about game-feel in Nuclear Throne, which I have literally no memory of doing 11 years ago but just found while poking around the archive.

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Graham Smith

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Rock Paper Shotgun’s former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.

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