Hashstash breathed into life on June 26, 2011 as a joint expression of 6 human’s passion and intent to make games, not just as a business but as an expression of their very existences. We knew we were the crazy ones: for us business success was secondary to the very act of making games, and we made merry with glee. But dreams seldom come true without some dark times. We have had our share of them too.
Over the last 10 months, we have made many difficult decisions and many silly mistakes, with a greater focus on games than business. With a product still to come out in the market, the times have been dark and difficult. We should not have been doing lots of stuff as a gamedev startup according to puritanical, conventional business sense. But as I have already mentioned: we don’t care about that.
When the chips are down people change. That happened with some of our core team members. Disillusionment and despair struck at home. Soon the young, bright and jovial Hashstash started having closed doors, quite hallways, secrets and lies. Misinformation became rampant within the core team. No one could keep a tab on who was doing what and what was moving forward. So much so that we became stagnant.
Internally, we only had words and talks of deliveries no one was focusing on. Roadmaps and priorities changed without anyone realising the change happening. It was a termite infestation that was hollowing us from the inside. And we did not realise any of this happening.
The realization came very late: only about a fortnight ago, when all of us were under a single roof. It was then that we realized that we now need dire measures to sustain ourselves. The first step was to get rid of all the pain and negativity. In a series of posts that will follow, I will very openly and transparently talk about how are we going to handle things now.
Owing to these circumstances, over the last 10 months, 3 core members of the team (from the initial pool of 6 founders) have already left the company. Hashstash is a shadow of its former self right now and in crisis. The fellowship of the dream has been broken. We have reorganised and restructured ourselves to react to current scenarios and proactively tackle the days to come. But that is left to be seen.
All this while, as the members left, we took it in stride and believed that someday, they will feel like a Ronald Wayne too. And we promised ourselves that we won’t let this get us down. At times it hurt real bad. But we decided that the dream was far more important than any one individual. We decided that in spite of all odds we will persist till we have a last man standing and that we will not give up even when the levees break apart. We also made a commitment that we have to fulfill this dream not for just our sake, but also for those departed.
We feel responsible to our families, friends and everyone looking forward to our games and so we had to come out in the open with this message. We are still assessing the situation and evaluating the damage done and the speed and time needed to turn around. Yet, irrespective of what we are going through, you have waited far too long for our games.
Today, we swear to deliver. No matter how much blood, sweat and tears need to be shed.
Keep looking forward to hearing more on this in the coming days. We are also going to come out with a status report of all our projects soon. And we will follow that up with getting the games out.
We know these are dark days for us. But even dark clouds have a silver lining. We are still around and all geared up to make games. Thanks to these situations we are leaner, stronger and even more pumped up. The focus is now on not losing steam and the onus is completely on us.
These troublesome, murky times have also made us realise one thing of true importance:
Hashstash is not just a business or a passion of making games; it is a dream worth fighting for. And we will.
Adios, Kudos and Amen.