Okay, this story is a little complicated, so bear with us here. Bulkypix, the prolific publisher who brought games such as Pix'n Love Rush, Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, Bardbarian, Penumbear, and countless other awesome games to iOS from a variety of indie developers, has officially entered liquidation proceedings. This follows up on the company declaring bankruptcy in March of this year and an unsuccessful push to find a buyer for the ailing French publisher. What this means is that the company will be dissolved and their assets will be sold off or reassigned. Bulkypix is essentially on borrowed time at the moment.

Bulkypix_Logo

Founded in 2009 by ex-employees of Vivendi's mobile division, Bulkypix quickly scored a number of hits with their versatile catalog of indie-developed games. Like many publishers from the salad days of iOS, however, they were slow to catch on to the booming free-to-play business and most of their recent releases ended up falling between the cracks. Things must have been coming to a head in late 2015, because at least one developer whose game was published by Bulkypix in October 2015 has made a statement on Reddit that they have never received a single payment.

In general, it seems like Bulkypix has kept little to no communication about this situation with their developer partners. Emails have been bouncing and many developers have only found out about this situation by looking it up second-hand on the Internet. Developers who have gotten through to the company have been told that the bankruptcy does not on its own constitute a breach of contract, and that they must contact the liquidator if they want to try to recover their games and any money owed to them. Developers in France must do so within two months of August 18th, 2016, while overseas developers have an additional two months. If you are one of those developers, you'll apparently need to fill in this form and send it to the liquidator.

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The fact that the company is going under is sad, but if it's true that Bulkpix hasn't kept their developers in the loop and missed payments, that's a whole other level of awful. Bankruptcy and liquidation aren't easy on anyone, but taking the proverbial phone off the hook only makes things worse for everyone. It's an undignified ending for a good publisher, and I can only hope that somehow things turn out as best as they can for all involved. As for us customers? While there's always the chance the games will transfer over to another publisher, purchases intact, it might be wise to download any Bulkypix games you want to keep sooner rather than later.

Sources: Pockett Videogames, Reddit Gamedev

  • Doom

    This publisher singlehandedly put more than a few independent developers out of business by poor management of their games..I can guarantee this. I feel the developers misery but glad to see these guys out of business so they can't crush any more dreams.

    • AppUnwrapper

      Never knew this about them. They've published some great games. Hopefully future devs will find more reliable publishers.

  • Spudboy

    Apparently to much hookers & blow.

  • NonstopRug

    Please don't touch anything πŸ™

  • gquiller

    I just hope for the best for all employees

  • Alexythimia23

    Does anyone know if there is a time-limit on this happening??
    Only reason i ask is i do want to purchase lonewolf the full episodes....
    I dont know whether to bite or wait for some last minute sale or what?
    Anyone else purchased the full thing? Is it worth it?

    • iOSGamester1980

      That's my worry. Wanted to buy it eventually. Hopefully someone pics it up and does something with it.

      • Alexythimia23

        I hope so but im not gonna gamble on that, i might just bite the bullet and get them anyway, always sucks wen stuff like this happens...

      • Torque2k

        Same here. Sucks to pay the $12 for the complete edition when you don't know where the money's going...

      • Alexythimia23

        True, im also worried incase i purchase and it gets taken from purchased history before i get a chance to play it....man this is the one think i hate about digital gaming on ios πŸ˜•

  • http://adamsimmersive.com Adams Immersive

    That's too bad. I liked Saving Private Sheep and a number of their iCade-compatible titles.

  • ZS77

    Surely if we already own the game and have downloaded it previously, then it will still be available in our download history? I bought Lonewolf some time ago along with the full dlc but never got round to finishing it - does this mean I have to download it now and keep it on my device or potentially lose it forever?

    • Shaun James Musgrave

      As Sarfa said below - if Bulkypix goes under, it's unlikely they'll renew their developer license with Apple, which means all of their games will be completely removed from your purchase history. The only hope would be the developer recovering the game and somehow transferring the provisioning profile, which would keep customer records intact. But that would involve some work from Bulkypix's side that they may not be willing or able to do at this juncture.

      • Spore Productions

        The sad part would be if they don't. Transferring an app within the App Store ecosystem is really easy (having done so myself). It would literally take them about ten minutes or less of work per game.

  • sarfa

    It is my understanding from past experience that if a publisher goes out of business and no longer pays the yearly fee to Apple, It will be removed from your purchase history and will no longer be available to download. This differs from the case where a publisher pulls a specific game but is still in business. In that case, while its no longer in the App Store, it will remain in your purchase history.

  • stelluhreyesthis

    I think they published yesterday from that spanish Seb, can't remember their name right now but it was fantastic, I think they did a bunch of other adventure games from the same studio too, anyway I hope they are ok, if they still exist

    • stelluhreyesthis

      Spanish dev**** and its Pèndulo studios

  • korossyl

    Pix n'Love Rush πŸ™

    Does that mean that Pix the Cat will be cancelled too?

    • Shaun James Musgrave

      I'm sure Pix's developers can find a new home for Pix the Cat.

      • korossyl

        πŸ™‚

        Pix n'Love Rush has been one of first-page games for years now.

        Still a sad situation all around, though.

  • http://www.unexpect3rd.com unexpect3rd

    I'm just thinking, the better performing games would probably be re-released by the Developers. Provided they managed to get back the rights.
    Probably with better pricing. Only problem would be if the app wasn't transferred, but the developer release under a new bundle id, existing owner of those games lose purchase history.

  • Hedron Engineer

    Unfortunately I had the "pleasure" of my employer going through bankruptcy a few years ago. They are in France, me in the Netherlands, so laws might vary, but usually when bankruptcy is filed, a curator takes over. All employees receive notice, and are expected to work for the curator. He will try to sell off as many assets as possible; even if the people at bulkypix would want to keep the games going - it's not their call anymore. Someone would needs to buy them and then they could transfer the game to the new owner.

    I feel sorry for the people who are now out of income. Sucks.

  • Framais

    Yes they stopped answering emails and payments long before the news of their bankruptcy. They published one of my games, and they still owe me almost a year worth of revenue.

    • Hedron Engineer

      Seriously, contact the curator ASAP, for any, slight, chance of money or at least to work out the conditions to get your game/assets back. Money wise, you are NOT first in line, curator, tax, banks all go first and then often there's nothing left. So you're likely screwed in that regard. But you probably want your stuff back. And the employees can't just give it to you, and you can't just take it. In Holland, you could in principle go to jail for that! Mileage may vary in France.
      I know it's messed up; then again I saw first hand the vultures this attracts - I get why it needs to be like this. As much as it sucks.

      I still get angry and sad thinking about it.

  • YankeeBlue000

    Damn it's sad to hear about them going under I really liked this publisher but it worse to hear how they screwed over the developers It just sucks all the way around

  • Vadim Ledyaev

    What would happen to the games they published on iTunes? I am one of developers who had the temerity to have a contract with them (back in 2014). Would they remove their games from iTunes store?