Well, I kind of figured that was too good to be true.
As you may or may not know, Soverance Studios is a very small business. In the four years of it’s existence, Soverance has never had an investor, and never had any major revenue. Until last year it was just one guy with a dream. It’s a business that has been run entirely at risk, consuming countless hours of my time and thousands of dollars out of my own pocket. It has been tiring and stressful, but also fun and rewarding.
In May of 2015 I signed an employment agreement with another company, Unique Sports Products, to be their Systems Administrator. That agreement included a 550 sq.ft. office space with which to turn Soverance Studios into more than one guy working in his basement. It was an opportunity for me to buy myself time and stability; two things I sorely needed if my vision of Soverance was to become a reality. I jumped on this chance, and took on a partner.
Unfortunately, my employment agreement has come to an end. We have been forced to move from our office space, and Soverance Studios is back to operating out of my bedroom.
Without going too far into detail, a disagreement with my employer grew out of proportion, and resulted in me being fired from my job last week. It’s a long and stupid story that starts with a Fire Marshal inspection and ends with me being jobless. This of course comes with the unfortunate side effect of removing Soverance from our offices, since our office space was tied to my employment agreement.
I waited a few days to write this post so that the dust could settle; it’s been nearly two weeks, and I’m still not really sure where we stand. While my employer and I were both able to let cooler heads prevail, and I was able to keep my day job, I still lost the office space. Soverance Studios took the hit. At least I’m still able to go to work and continue paying my bills like a normal person… but my business is suffering for it.
For now I’m back to working in my apartment. I’m not sure exactly what this means for Ethereal Legends or Soverance Studios. The loss of our office has definitely created significant obstacles to our progress, especially for the console versions of Ethereal. We now have nowhere to place our servers, nowhere to maintain our shared files or source control, nowhere to put our whiteboard, and we’ve lose the ability to share physical space to allow for emergent design. We no longer have access to a static IP, or a properly-zoned mailing address for our company services, such as bank accounts or business licenses.
I honestly thought that obtaining that office was a turning point for Soverance Studios. It allowed me to bring on a partner, and gave me the stability to do a lot of things that I couldn’t have done otherwise. It’s now the second time in my life where I thought I had successfully built a stable company and was on my way to profitability… only to have it taken from me before I could accomplish my goals or make any money.
Over the last four years, I’ve put everything I have into Soverance Studios. At this point, Soverance is my whole identity. It is who I am. An extension of myself. I have sacrificed much to get to this point; many relationships have suffered, and significant amounts of time and money have been lost. I have also learned a lot, and I have achieved much through dedication and commitment. But I’m far from where I want to be, and the only road left to travel is long and filled with obstacles. I must admit I am tired of struggling… but there is strength in me yet.
Soverance Studios will continue to exist in some form. Ethereal Legends will still be released, though it may be later than I had originally planned. I’m not really sure what else to do except attempt to push forward. I don’t know of any other paths to travel. All we can do is pick ourselves up and continue on.