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Deep Silver Closes Vienna Studio
Deep Silver Closes Vienna Studio
February 1, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

February 1, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Developer Deep Silver Vienna has shut down and its 20 employees will need to find new jobs at the end of March, says parent company Koch Media.

The studio's two co-founders, formerly of Rockstar Vienna, had already left, according to Austrian media reports; Niki Laber apparently departed in December 2009, while Hannes Seifert left his role only recently, and will become a creative director Square Enix.

Deep Silver Vienna began as Games That Matter, which Seifert and Laber founded after Rockstar Vienna was closed. Koch Media acquired Games That Matter in 2007 and incorporated it into its Deep Silver games label, which is headquartered in Munich and also has offices in the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and the U.S.

As a whole, Deep Silver has published or co-published numerous titles, and its best-known are PC games like Risen, Sacred 2 and Stalker: Clear Sky. Deep Silver Vienna's most recent release developed in-house was Wii horror title Cursed Mountain, which met with mixed reviews -- praised more for its atmosphere and less for its controls -- and had little marketing support.

Cursed Mountain is still set to launch on PC next week, and the studio's other project in development, Ride To Hell, will reportedly be completed at Koch's Munich headquarters and launch in 2011.

"This decision is not easy for us," said Koch Media managing director Kundratitz Clement in a press statement citing "the current overall economic situation" for the need to consolidate operations in Munich and close the Deep Silver studio.

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Ken Masters
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That's too bad. I thought Cursed Mountain was one of the scariest games I've ever played due to its slow pace, great atmosphere, and superb sound design.

Rodney Brett
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Yeah. It's a shame to see all these small studios shut down. Regardless of how the game sold, there must be a way to keep them alive.

Cody Kostiuk
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My biggest gripe with games these days is the lack of mature titles for adults. Sure, there are fantastic titles that all ages can enjoy, but every once in a while moms and dads need something that doesn't cater to their children. Cursed Mountain seemed to do everything in it's power not to appeal to adolescents... and I'm so grateful for that.

Without any serious marketing money, the only chance this game had was through positive reviews. Unfortunately, I believe many reviewers were confused and were expecting to play a typical survival horror instead of what it truly was... a slow and cerebral dark adventure. I wonder, if Deep Silver had made Cursed Mountain more appealing to the critics (and the masses), would it have sacrificed most of what I liked about the game?

Regardless, I hope that Deep Silver opened a few eyes. I'd like to play more games with the ideals that spawned Cursed Mountain. It'll be interesting to see how it fairs as a PC release, though I think PC gamers require more polygons than Cursed Mountain can provide.