Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

"JETT: The Far Shore." Screenshot: Superbrothers/Axios

The co-creators of “JETT: The Far Shore” spent a decade making their ambitious and strange new sci-fi game, only to release it at a tough time and to mixed reviews.

Why it matters: Outright success or failure are the familiar storylines of video game development, but “JETT”’s odd creation, and the spot its developers find themselves in now can be instructive too.

  • “We knew we were naive,” Craig D. Adams, one of the game’s lead creators, told Axios about the game’s long development cycle, “but we didn't necessarily know, like, OK, how naive.”
  • He says the PC and PlayStation release is performing “within the realm of expectations” but compares it to his last game. That one: a Day One “slam dunk.” This one? “Eh, it’ll be a grower.”

The details: “JETT” presents players with an unusual mix of strange controls, gorgeous visuals, meditative music, a distinctly slow pace and a lot of reading.

  • Players spend much of the game piloting a futuristic plane that skims the surface of a newly discovered planet, while a dense story about science and religion is conveyed, via subtitles, by a chatty crew of explorers.
  • Reviewers have called it “beautiful,” “captivating” and “profound but extremely irritating.”
  • With unusual transparency, Adams has publicly acknowledged that the roughly 10-hour game has controls that take about 12 hours to master, later telling Axios, “I may need to zipper up my mouth a bit.”
  • (He also told us the game is akin to asking people to read Tolstoy while snowboarding, an admittedly “unresolved friction” in its design.)
"JETT: The Far Shore." Screenshot: Superbrothers

Between the lines: “JETT” was made over a decade-long stretch that locked in its best and worst qualities.

  • Adams conceived “JETT”’s core idea with developer friend Patrick McAllister in 2007, and in 2013 committed to making it, outlining a five-year budget for his tiny team.
  • Financing initially came from that “slam dunk,” 2011’s “Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery EP,” which let Adams buy a house in the Canadian woods and budget himself C$3,000/month
  • As money ran low and design stretched on, he bought a weight bench, went to San Francisco to get funding, and eventually got some from Sony PlayStation and Epic Games. Why weights? "It feels like there's a certain kind of executive-level problem-solving that is maybe well-served through strength training.”
  • Understaffed and unsure how to tie their ideas into a shippable game, the team added more pros, among them an art director who urged them to decide if the game was more about story or more about gameplay. (Adams: “I was still wishy-washy.”)

“JETT” finally emerged after two years of “white knuckle” final development in an October busy with standout games:

  • “I wish that we had emerged at a quieter moment,” Adams said.
  • But he calls the game a “moonshot,” and says a low burn rate — most who worked on it were on contracts that have ended — allowed the game’s slow start to be financially viable.
  • “I'm proud really of having gotten this far and to have delivered something as wildly original and ambitious,” he said. “And [to have] gotten out the other end.”

Go deeper

Lawsuit against PlayStation alleges gender discrimination

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A former IT security analyst at Sony PlayStation filed a lawsuit against the company in California on Monday, alleging gender discrimination and wrongful termination after speaking up “about discrimination against females” at the gaming giant.

Why it matters: Video game companies are under increased scrutiny for their treatment of women in an industry long dominated by men.

Updated 10 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 13 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!