Dear PSSM supporter,
It’s not easy to write this letter to you.
As you will understand from previous correspondence, for the past four years we have been focussed on and committed to developing the Aetherlight online game. The PSSM Board has been a significant contributor to this development along with a sponsor who has been the major financial investor. PSSM started out 75 years ago as a faith exercise and the journey in the past five years has had many similarities to those early days. God has provided ideas, people and finance in remarkable ways.
We have seen His hand in the development in remarkable ways. I’m sure you can imagine the significant challenges that have faced us as the game has been developed. Three episodes have been launched and enjoyed by many young people, fulfilling what has been the mission right from the outset, to engage children in relevant ways with the story of the Bible, to bring them into a deeper relationship with God. Alongside the game, other companion resources such as Tyndale’s Aetherlight Bible have been developed, further enhancing the impact of God on the lives of children.
Despite having achieved a successful launch of the game, the cost of developing it further has proved too great for us and our other cornerstone sponsor. Its development always depended on the interest in it going viral. While there has been significant interest and up-take, that hasn’t happened. Player and parent comment on the structure and content of the game has been very favourable, and in-game analytics show a high level of engagement and retention, but there hasn’t been the ‘spark’ of interest required to make it financially viable for us at this point, despite it being available to a world-wide audience.
We have therefore been forced to consider our options. The development of the game requires a further injection of significant capital. Interest in the game’s possibilities has always been high amongst high net-worth Christians in the US so we have contracted to supply the IP behind and around the game to someone there who is sympathetic to our mission and has a heart to see the game fulfil its purpose. There will be no monies paid to NZ investors in the short term. Accordingly, we have been forced to close the NZ studio developing the Aetherlight game.
We have really appreciated your support of PSSM Bible Discovery. However, we write to say the chapter of this ministry as we have known it is closing. We continue to promote access to the game amongst kiwi kids while the old paper-based lesson material and student lists have been handed over to the Mail Box Club.
PSSM Bible Discovery Trust will continue to be listed with Charities Services and will still accept donations and legacies to fulfil its Trust objects.
In faith, hope and love,