Austin, Texas-based Ion Storm, the game development studio founded in 1996 by a group of designers including Warren Spector, John Romero, Tom Hall, and Todd Porter, has finally closed its doors, after creating games including the Deus Ex series, Anachronox, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and the infamous Daikatana. Spector, the last of the company's founders remaining at Ion Storm, left the development house in November 2004 along with Harvey Smith, director of Deus Ex 2: Invisible War.
The 35 employees remaining at Ion Storm have been let go on Eidos' closing of the developer, though some of them may move to Bay Area-based Crystal Dynamics, Eidos' last remaining development house. Eidos is currently seeking to raise Crystal Dynamics' staff by 50 to an overall size of over 180 employees; the studio is currently working on the next Tomb Raider game, as well as forthcoming titles such as Project: Snowblind.
A statement from Eidos said that it is aiming "to consolidate down its North American internal development capabilities from two studios to one. This will mean the immediate closure of the Ion Storm studio in Austin, Texas, which has been focused primarily on the development of PC and Xbox games."
Furthermore, the company explained that the closure was done to "consolidate and strengthen its technical and management capabilities into a smaller number of studios which are capable of scaling up in order to meet the competitive challenges that lie ahead, particularly in anticipation of next-generation technologies and platforms."
Eidos, which has been the focus of increased takeover speculation of recent, still owns a number of non-U.S. internal development studios, including Hitman developers IO Interactive, new Championship Manager team Beautiful Game Studios, and largely divested former Tomb Raider developer Core Design.