Internet reports, including various weblogs
of ex-employees, are indicating that Spokane, Washington-based Myst
developer Cyan Worlds has laid off the vast majority of its around 40 staff.
Although there is no official comment as yet from the company, co-founder Rand Miller apparently made a short announcement to his staff on Friday, before organizing a goodbye meal and gathering. It appears that the company had completed its latest full-scale project, Myst V: End Of Ages
, which is being published by Ubisoft and is due out on September 20th for PC.
Reports on well-placed fan website Uru Obsession indicate that Rand Miller and Tony Fryman remain at the company as a 'skeleton crew', so the firm has not shut down, but it's believed that no publishing deals are currently in place.
Cyan Worlds itself was founded by Rand and his brother Robyn in 1987, and created cult Mac titles such as The Manhole
and Cosmic Osmo
, before it achieved enormous success with the release of PC adventure Myst
in 1994. Before being topped by The Sims
, the game was the most popular PC title of all-time and was one of the first widely successful CD-ROM games Ė acting as the catalyst for many PC owners to purchase a CD-ROM drive, and selling 12 million units alongside sequel Riven
, titles such as real-time remake realMyst
and the Presto-created Myst III: Exile
continued the brand and sold reasonably well, but Cyan Worlds' major project during this time was online-enabled adventure-exploration title Uru: Ages Beyond Myst
, which launched in November 2003, and was unfortunately a critical and commercial disappointment, although a cult hit for its graphical originality, and subsequent expansion packs were concatenated somewhat, before Myst V
was announced as the final, more conventional chapter in the Myst