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Pioneering American free-to-play MMO publisher closes after 7 years

Pioneering American free-to-play MMO publisher closes after 7 years

February 8, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi




Outspark, the San Francisco-based publisher that was one of the earliest western companies to specialize in free-to-play MMOs, has apparently shut its doors.

Founded in 2006 by former Yahoo! Games director Susan Choe and former Starz Media CTO Nick Foster, Outspark published the popular Fiesta Online and Secret of the Solstice MMOs, both of them free-to-play games that launched when the concept still felt novel in the United States.

European MMO publisher Gamigo said Friday that it has taken over operations of Fiesta Online, though it has no plans to continue any of Outspark's other titles.

"Its an amazing exit to Outspark, one of the earliest and greatest founders of the Free-to-Play MMO space," Outspark CEO Philip Yun said in a statement.

As part of the transition, Gamigo has hired "a substantial part" of the Fiesta Online team, which will work out of its San Francisco office to support the game.

Update: We managed to get CEO Philip Yun on the phone Saturday morning to clarify what's going on with Outspark.

Technically the company still exists, though between employee transitions to Gamigo and some necessary layoffs, it's down to only a small core group deciding which direction the company will go.

Yun says that Outspark still has a few games -- including an unannounced project -- in its stable, which the remaining team and its board of directors are still deciding what to do with, whether that be moving forward with them and continuing operations at Outspark, or dissolving the company and selling (or perhaps canceling) them.


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