Michael Martinez, CEO and founder of JuiceBox Games, has announced the San Francisco studio's closure in a comprehensive blog post.
"We never built the game that could serve as JuiceBox's revenue engine - funding infrastructure build out and development of more games," he wrote.
"Quite simply, we didn't build good enough games. Which begs the question, why didn't we build good enough games? That's because game making is incredibly hard! It's a devilishly challenging problem: a creative act that needs to work as a business. There's nothing like making a new game from scratch. The amount of decisions and polish required is staggering."
Just under two years ago the studio raised $2.54 million in a priced seed round led by Initial Capital. General Catalyst, Index Ventures and Maveron, Scott Dale and ex-EA CEO John Riccitiello also invested in that round, and Vainglory's Kristian Segerstrale joined the JuiceBox board.
Martinez passed on key learnings from the experience.
"'Building a great product' is NOT the best answer for 'what's your distribution strategy?' Building a great product is a requirement and it can work, but make it easier on yourself with a great distribution strategy," he advised.
"My failure to address this (whether through IP, marketing budget/expertise, unique take on community/YouTube/Twitch, or eSports) is the largest reason for our failure. Hoping for considerable Apple/Google featuring isn't sufficient (though we were featured, its impact has lessened)."