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MechWarrior 4: Vengeance and Shadowrun Developer FASA Studio Closes Shop

FASA Studio--the developer responsible for Mech Commander (PC), MechWarrior 4: Vengeance (PC), and the recent multiplayer FPS Shadowrun (PC, X360)--officially closed its doors today, according to FASA head Mitch Gitelman.

"Today was the official last day of employment for those of us who had not moved on to other positions within Microsoft Game Studios," explained Gitelman in a post on the Shadowrun forums. "While the rumors have been circulating forever, we chose to wait on an official announcement because we didnÂ’t want people's attention distracted from our last product, Shadowrun, a game we love.

"As a testament to the team's commitment to Shadowrun, we released three title updates to improve the product even after the team learned we were losing our studio," continued Gitelman. "We have kept our Community Manager and Technical Support Manager on the job to aid and support you and will continue to do so while people continue to play our game. I am pleased that about half of us have found great positions elsewhere in MGS and Microsoft where they can share their experience and passion with the great people there."

Receiving lukewarm reviews from critics, who docked Shadowrun for a lack of content and an arguably high price of $60 for a multiplayer-only title, the game's troubled release also came during the popular Halo 3 multiplayer beta. Following predictably mild sales, Gitelman defended his studio's game on the Official Xbox Magazine podcast, saying: "I think the reviews of my game suck my ass, and I want to respond."

Attacking the basic concept of review scores, Gitelman claimed that the price of a game should not factor into a score to the degree that it does. "Do you think that the dollar amount of the thing justifies lowering the review score so much that people don't actually see past the number? Because when I look at reviews, I look at the number first, and then I decide if I want to read the review at all. If it gets a 7, I don't even read the review."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 12, 2007 6:25 PM

    man it sure seems like dev studios don't last long these days. i guess this is a tough business to be in.

    • reply
      September 12, 2007 6:37 PM

      How long is "long," though? MW4 came out in Nov 2000, and it wasn't the first game from FASA Interactive /FASA Studio. MechCommander released in '98, and probably took, what, 2 years to develop? So '96-'07 is an 11 year run.

      RIP though. I played MW4 from release up until mid-2005, mostly with the same group of guys. I know a lot of people lambast it for being arcadey, but I loved the way they implemented hardpoints and streamlined a lot of the stat-sheet tweaking that is the core of BattleTech. I also enjoyed the MA games for the shmups they were.

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