As part of their E3 presentation last year, Microsoft has announced a reboot of its 2004 cult hit, Phantom Dust. Aside from a single teaser trailer, not a lot was known about the game, other than the fact that independent developer Darkside Games had been given the reigns.
No further information has been given since then and now the project looks to be further in limbo. Earlier today, Microsoft reportedly shut down Darkside Games.
"Microsoft partnered with Darkside Game Studios in the development of 'Phantom Dust,' but our working relationship has now ended," a Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku. "We have great respect for their studio and their work in the industry. While we do not have anything new to share on 'Phantom Dust' at this time, we can confirm that development of the title continues. We look forward to sharing more details on the game as we get closer to release."
Phantom Dust was set to be Darkside's first official project, having previously assisted with development of larger AAA games. The studio closure has left over 50 people without jobs. Shacknews has reached out to Microsoft for further comment.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Phantom Dust studio reportedly shuttered by Microsoft
This is usually a case of either different views on the games/features/scope, or the studio wasn't really controlling their finances while behind schedule. The power a publisher has over a dev studio can be tremendous. It hard for studios to build a war chest, keeping money in the bank, to help insulate the if something like this happens. If you can't drive a hit at regular frequency a studio usually can't sustain itself. This is what makes the games biz (and movies) so hard to be a part of.
Bummer. The feels go out to those out of a job.