|Founded||1 September 2010|
|Defunct||1 September 2020|
Vlambeer was a Dutch independent video game developer based in Utrecht. Founded in 2010, the studio was composed of Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman, and closed down on its tenth anniversary after the two recognized they were moving in different directions in the industry. The studio was known for its games Super Crate Box (2010), Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (2011), Ridiculous Fishing (2013), Luftrausers (2014), and Nuclear Throne (2015), as well as for its stand on video game cloning.
Vlambeer was founded in 2010 by Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman after both dropped out from a game design course at the Utrecht School of the Arts. According to Ismail, they had been developing a game outside of the school but when the school found out, the school demanded the rights to the game, which they refused, leading to their decision to drop out. Ismail and Nijman began by working together to develop a prototype, initially created by Nijman, called "Crates from Hell". It was released on 11 May 2010 as Super Crate Box and earned the studio recognition in the form of an Independent Games Festival finalist position in the Excellence in Design category. During the development of Super Crate Box, Vlambeer developed Radical Fishing. It was released in November 2010. Radical Fishing was the first of many games released by the studio under a "Not Vlambeer" label, which encompasses the studio's games that are developed for money or as an experiment.
Vlambeer was approached by publisher Devolver Digital to develop a game in the Serious Sam franchise. The studio and Devolver Digital agreed to develop and publish a turn-based role-playing game. The result, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, was released on 24 October 2011. During the development of Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Vlambeer released many small games, most notably Luftrauser. Vlambeer started development on an iOS version of Radical Fishing called Ridiculous Fishing. Development was halted after a San Francisco–based studio released a clone of Radical Fishing on iOS. This generated discussion about the cloning of video games and led Vlambeer to be somewhat of an icon on the topic. The term "Vlambeer'd" was introduced by several media outlets. In November 2013, the browser game Vlambeer Clone Tycoon was launched to provide a satirical comment on the issue of Vlambeer's cloning ordeals.
In February 2012, Vlambeer released Gun Godz, a first-person shooter inspired by hip-hop, in collaboration with Brandon Boyer's Venus Patrol. Ridiculous Fishing was nominated for the 2012 Independent Games Festival "Best Mobile" award. At the conference where the award ceremony was held, Vlambeer released Yeti Hunter.
On 2 December 2012, Vlambeer announced a sequel to Luftrauser called Luftrausers. On 19 December 2012, Vlambeer released the iOS version of Super Crate Box. Its success prevented the studio from going out of business due to the financial ramifications of the decreased motivation caused by the cloning incident. On 14 March 2013, Vlambeer released Ridiculous Fishing on iOS, after resuming its development.
On 5 December 2015, Vlambeer released Nuclear Throne, a top-down shooter roguelike which had been in Steam's early access program since 2013. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, receiving positive reviews from users.
On 8 August 2016, Vlambeer announced 120 Years Of Vlambeer And Friends. Bringing back arcade games since 1896, an art and history book of the company written by Arjan Terpstra and published by Cook & Becker.
Vlambeer announced they were closing down on 1 September 2020, the tenth anniversary of the studio's formation. Ismail and Nijman had made the decision a few weeks prior have come to recognize they were moving in separate directions within the video game industry since 2016 and though they had come back together to create Ultrabugs which will still be released under the Vlambeer name, they felt they didn't need to work together any more, nor was there a need for the Vlambeer name in the indie game world. Ismail plans to continue to work on supporting advocacy for diversity within the video game industry, while Nijman expects to continue to help develop smaller games similar to Minit with other teams.
- Super Crate Box (2010)
- Karate (2011)
- Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (2011)
- Gun Godz (2012)
- Yeti Hunter (2012)
- Ridiculous Fishing (2013)
- Luftrausers (2014)
- Nuclear Throne (2015)
- Ultrabugs (TBA)
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- The 14th Annual Independent Games Festival Finalists Archived 7 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Igf.com. Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- Someone Else’s Solutions Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. PocketNext. Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
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- Vlambeer Clone Tycoon Archived 17 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. IndieStatik. Retrieved on 13 December 2013.
- VENUS PATROL: charting a new course for videogame culture by Brandon Boyer — Kickstarter Archived 11 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Kickstarter.com (7 September 2011). Retrieved on 2012-08-13.
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- Vlambeer to release Yeti Hunter from GDC show floor Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. The Verge. Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
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- "Announcement!". Vlambeer. 8 August 2016. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Nolan Bushnell, Tim Schafer, and Rami Ismail to be honored at the 2018 GDC Awards!". Gamasutra. 30 January 2018. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Conduit, Jessica (1 September 2020). "Influential indie studio Vlambeer is shutting down after a decade". Engadget. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
- Carpenter, Nicole (1 September 2020). "It's Vlambeer's 10-year anniversary, and the studio's breaking up". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
- Crecente, Brian (1 April 2019). "Why Vlambeer Returned to Its Roots With 'Ultrabugs'". Variety. Archived from the original on 29 September 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.