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NCsoft Cancels Spacetime MMO, Layoffs Result

NCsoft Cancels Spacetime MMO, Layoffs Result

January 11, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

January 11, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
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Austin-based startup MMO developer Spacetime Studios has revealed on its website that its agreement with NCSoft to publish its primary space-based PC MMO project, Blackstar, has been canceled.

The company has revealed the first concrete Blackstar details on its site, but has now confirmed the studio will not be entering production "in the immediate future." As a result, the company says Spacetime was forced to lay off 12 members of its staff.

The official statement announcing this change also stressed that the cancellation discussions were not hostile. "We want to stress that there are no bad feelings with NCSoft," it notes. "There is a tremendous amount of mutual respect between our companies. They have conducted themselves with honor and integrity, and we would work with them again in an instant."

Spacetime adds that the firm has its own complete MMO engine with networking infrastructure, tools suite and next-gen rendering engine. He also indicated that Spacetime would pursue a new publisher relationship for the game, as he explained:

"The company remains extremely committed to the IP, and once all mutual obligations have been completed between the publisher and ourselves, we intend to explore every possible avenue to see that our team's collective vision come to fruition."

The reveal of Blackstar alongside this announcement reveals that the game "is a unique space combat MMO of fast shooting action coupled with traditional RPG combat, advancement, and adventure."

According to the official site, the game allows players to "Fly your spaceship to exotic locations, blasting through cunning enemies and dreadful space creatures... Fight your character avatar on mysterious planets, go aboard space stations, and force your way onto enemy ships... Live as one of four races, ranging from heroic humans to killer robots to savage monsters to beautiful aliens in an epic science-fiction universe."

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