4mm Games, the studio behind Def Jam Rapstar, is on the verge of closing. Studio head Jamie King says the company is "rather starved for money," and stretching itself thin as it tries to resolve a Rapstar legal dispute while tending to its own staff as well.
"We have not got any new funding and obviously we need to resolve everything with Rapstar," King told GamesIndustry.biz. "And we've also got to eat. I get very annoyed at times, I would like there to be a way out of it but I don't know if that's going to happen."
Def Jam Rapstar ballooned to a larger scope, but was met with sluggish sales. King calls the launch "disappointing." 4mm's other games, a project with UK developer Jagex, a National Dog Show game, and an Alliance of Action Sports browser game, haven't been met with success. The dog show game had no money for marketing, and the other two have been shelved -- despite the action sports title being nearly done.
Now 4mm's legal problems with EMI over song authorization in Rapstar prevents it from getting more funding. King is hoping to get more projects in the mobile and tablet space to stay afloat. He's still optimistic about the future and plans to stay in the business, but it's looking increasingly doubtful that business will be with 4mm.