Flagship 'Barely Open,' Shutting Down Soon

Though Flagship Studios CEO Bill Roper previously stated that the Hellgate: London and Mythos developer was not shutting down despite having laid off most of its staff, ex-COO Max Schaefer has revealed that it is only open to take care of "final affairs."

"It's barely open," Schaefer explained to GameCyte. "It's just open enough to take care of the final affairs, but for all intents and purposes it's closed down."

Left, Hellgate: London. Right, Mythos.

"We don't exactly know the proper way to close down a company," added former Mythos executive producer Travis Baldree. "We're just trying to take care of the debts and the employees in an orderly fashion, so Bill [Roper, CEO of Flagship Studios] and one or two other people have stuck around and are doing their best to get that done."

Schaefer, Baldree and the rest of the Mythos development team has since reformed under a new company, Runic Games, which hopes to continue creating action-RPGs.

However, Badlree is fairly confident that Runic will not be able to resume development on the action-RPG Mythos, which is now in the hands of another company.

"We're proceeding under the assumption that we're not going to be able to get [Myhtos] or proceed on it," he explained. "Because of the nature of how the IP is being held, and the technology being held separately, it seems safer and better for us to proceed as if we're really not going to have any avenue to work with it."

The duo also revealed that Flagship's founders were "working pretty hard" to prevent closure.

"We were in very advanced negotiations with a couple of people for deals that would have kept Flagship open and would have kept everything running," stated Schaefer. "And in fact, for a good while it was looking like a near-certainty that one of those would have come to fruition."

"To the last minute and actually beyond the last minute, I know that negotiations were going on to try and make sure that we could get the studio back on track," added Baldree. "Primarily, we just all proceeded here like we were going to be releasing our open beta in October, and kept working until the last minute."

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
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    August 15, 2008 8:36 AM


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      August 15, 2008 8:46 AM

      When they make garbage like Hellgate, completely miss the point everyone was looking forward to. (Randomly created 3D Enviroment everytime you play).... and replace it with an instanced piece of shit, and try to charge a monthly fee on top of in game advertising... no fucking wonder?

      • reply
        August 15, 2008 9:00 AM


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        August 15, 2008 9:01 AM

        wait wait, the areas arn't random? I could have swore that that was their selling point back when they first announced the game.

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          August 15, 2008 9:08 AM

          they were random, just random out of 4or 5 different environments. you'd get sick of the same sewer, subway, rundown london city streets environmentst before you ever reach level 20.

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          August 15, 2008 8:27 PM

          They were random, but it randomly generated the same thing every time.

          There just wasn't enough art to support it, there were so few "tiles" that everything looked the same... and even worse, the *layouts* didn't even change much (it was almost always a linear trawl through a corridor from A to B, same general length, layout and art along the way)... very disappointing.

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        August 15, 2008 11:38 AM

        Is piracy really making that huge of a dent in company profits?

        I'll admit it, I've pirated. Usually what I pirate, I buy however. I guess I prefer actually sampling a product before making the decision to purchase it, which is probably why game rental seems slightly intriguing.

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        August 16, 2008 12:06 PM

        Right on, exactly what happened. Sad but true.

    • reply
      August 15, 2008 8:49 AM


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      August 15, 2008 8:52 AM

      Poor sales. That's pretty much it.

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      August 15, 2008 8:53 AM

      If the company does not profit, it doesn't exist. That's why piracy hurts gaming so much.

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      August 15, 2008 9:08 AM

      game makers aren't immune to the global economic slowdown - tightening credit availability, increased overhead costs (for things like office space, distribution, etc), and other factors that affect every business are hitting these companies too

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      August 15, 2008 2:15 PM

      I enjoyed the SP game, but I'm not willing to rent portions of a Diablo clone expansion at MMO prices. Especially when I can't even play it off line. Unfortuneately I don't think they gave much of a shit about SP gamers. I would have bought an expansion though. They were quick to promise everybody the world and then say sorry, we couldn't get it to work like that. They should have been straight up with people from the begining and stuck to one type of game (either a Diablo clone or an MMO).

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