Flagship Studios, RIP?

Voodoo Extreme has a pretty convincing post up saying that [Flagship Studios’ Closure Confirmed, All Staff Fired, All I.P. Lost] Flagship Studios is dead. Nothing official yet, but apparently (now-former) Flagship employees are updating their Linked-In accounts to indicate the end of their employment (fodder for another post, that).

And I’m going to go against the grain and say its a damned shame. Yes, Hellgate: London shipped half-broken and never seems to have really become what it could have become (I say that as a lifetime subscriber). It certainly got better than it was at launch, but overcoming so much bad will is nigh on impossible.

But I grieve for Mythos (and, of course, for the employees). It was a darned fun game, and I was really surprised they held it in beta for so long. Hindsight is always 20-20, but I wonder if things might have turned out differently if they’d launched the game rather then starting the ‘overworld’ retrofit. It was a fine “Diablo-clone” with its instanced combat fields and massively MP towns and I think it could’ve generated some revenue.

Now (according to the Voodoo Extreme article) Korean developer HanbitSoft owns the rights to the game. Maybe they’ll save it, but color me skeptical that they’ll do so in any kind of way the really resonates with Western audiences. I’d love to be proven wrong.

A sad day for both gamers and Flagship employees. It’s easy to hate on the company for Hellgate, but if you never got a chance to try Mythos, trust me. You’ve just missed out on a fun hack & slash RPG.