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California-based game developer FireForge filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the California Central Bankruptcy Court last month, just three days after releasing its debut game Ghostbusters alongside the film of the same name.
It's rare to see a studio enter bankruptcy so soon after releasing a game, but as Kotaku points out, FireForge has a troubled history.
Founded in 2011 by SuperVillian Studios cofounder Timothy Campbell, the studio worked on at least two MOBA-esque game projects that never saw the light of day: one to be published by Chinese game giant (and 37 percent stakeholder in Fireforge) Tencent, the other by hardware manufacturer Razer.
Both Tencent and Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan's firm Min Productions are among the creditors listed in FireForge's bankruptcy filings. Moreover, the studio is reportedly embroiled in an ongoing lawsuit with Min Productions.
Plus, FireForge was sued by Rhode Island-based lawyer Richard J. Land in 2015 for offering to buy a piece of video game customer management software, then reneging on the deal and instead hiring away eight employees with knowledge of the tech to build its own version.
If the name Richard J. Land sounds familliar, it's because he's the court-appointed receiver for 38 Studios, which went bankrupt in 2011. The tech in question was 38 Studios' Helios platform; FireForge chief Campbell agreed to license Helios in 2012 for $3.7 million.
Land later alleged that Campbell failed to follow through and that FireForge instead hired eight ex-38 Studios employees with knowledge of Helios' source code, leading the company to roll its own version. Now, Land stands alongside Min Productions and Tencent on the list of FireForge's outstanding creditors.