Flagship Studios COO and co-founder Max Schaefer revealed that the Hellgate: London
developer has "for all intents and purposes" closed down.
Schaefer, who also helped found Runic Games, a new developer comprised of Flagship alums and announced last week
, told consumer site GameCyte in an in-depth interview
that Flagship is barely open, but just enough to "take care of the final affairs."
He added, "It’s a little bit of a new experience for all of us. We don’t exactly know the 'proper' way to close down a company."
"First and foremost, we’re just trying to take care of the debts and the employees in an orderly fashion, so [Flagship CEO Bill Roper] and one or two other people have stuck around and are doing their best to get that done before we move on in different directions."
Founded in 2003 by Blizzard North executives and the original developers behind Blizzard's Diablo
series, Flagship reportedly cut a significant portion of its development team and laid off its staff at online services subsidiary Ping0 early last month.
Shortly afterwards, the studio announced its intentions to shut down its servers for MMORPG Mythos
, which was undergoing private beta testing at the time. The rights for both Mythos
and Hellgate: London
have apparently since passed
to Asian publisher T3 Entertainment.
Travis Baldree, who served as project director on Mythos
and co-founded Runic, commented to GameCyte that it's unlikely that Runic would be able to continue Mythos
' development: "I think that door is just about closed. 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."