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Report: CTF Pioneer Threewave Software Lays Off, Reorganizes
Report: CTF Pioneer Threewave Software Lays Off, Reorganizes Exclusive
December 4, 2009 | By Chris Remo

December 4, 2009 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC, Exclusive

Threewave Software, the Vancouver-based studio whose name dates back to the original Capture the Flag mod for id Software's Quake, let go of some of its staff due to a dearth of projects, Gamasutra has learned.

The news was first made public in a Twitter post by Josh Smillie, who wrote, "The Threewave Vancouver studio has shut down due to no new contracts. RIP CTF gods."

Gamasutra confirmed the news with its own sources close to the studio, and was told that company laid off its workforce within the last couple of days, and has essentially closed its doors.

We subsequently received a statement from Threewave CEO Dan Irish, however, who claimed "some, not all" of the company's staff was let go, as Threewave enters a "reorganization phase."

"We are trying [to] move forward in a manner that reflects today's reality," Irish explained in an email.

Threewave Software can be traced back to Threewave CTF, the incredibly widespread Capture the Flag Quake mod first released in 1996 by David "Zoid" Kirsch, who went on to work for id Software itself, followed by Retro Studios and most recently Valve Software.

While not technically the first implementation of CTF in a shooter, Threewave CTF was indisputably the game that popularized the mode, leading to its industry-standard status in multiplayer gaming.

Over time, the group who maintained the Threewave name released mods for further Quake releases and eventually became an independently-operating game developer specializing in multiplayer contract work for numerous games. Threewave's work was found in titles like Soldier of Fortune II, Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy, Army of Two, and most recently Ghostbusters: The Video Game.

In 2006, the studio scaled up its staff considerably with the intention of producing bigger in-house properties and Xbox Live Arcade games, but those projects have yet to publicly come to fruition.

Irish's full emailed statement reads as follows:

"Your information is not quite accurate. We're entering a reorganization phase.

"Some, not all of our employees were given notices. We are trying to move forward in a manner that reflects today's realities."

Gamasutra is seeking to obtain further details from Irish on the matter in the near future.

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Mathieu Rouleau
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Saddened by this news, good luck with future projects casey, Sludge and scan.

David Paull
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3 wave made the most beautiful maps for Quake3. id Software dropped the ball by not incorporating these maps into QuakeLive (which only has the ugly brown Q3 maps)

Andrew Dobbs
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Good luck to everyone there. Threewave represents some of my favorite childhood memories in quake.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Jeremy Lindstrom
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Hey kilderean! Yeah, sad news indeed good luck Threewave was awesome knowing it before it existed. :D

Amir Sharar
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Pretty sad considering all the great memories their work gave me. I have to say that I have never had as much fun in any CTF mode found in modern games, as I did in Quake 2 CTF. Some of that could be due to the grappling hook as well as the "power-up" runes found in the maps. A definite part of the reason is due to the map designs, which I can still visualize today.

If they can release a great multiplayer CTF game for XBLA/PSN, perhaps it could see a success similar to Battlefield 1943? Let's hope the restructure and the changing market (the success of Warhawk and BF 1943 means a multiplayer only digital download game can work) presents opportunities for them.

William Ravaine
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Good luck to these fine people. Quake2 CTF was one of my fondest gaming memories to date, I still remember every single map and corner of them. The game and level design was brilliant.