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July 11th, 2008, 22:13
Gamasutra reports layoffs from Hellgate London developers.
Gamasutra has received confirmation from a Flagship Studios representative that the Hellgate: London developer has seen significant staff cuts.

This morning, Gamasutra obtained information from a confidential source, who said that staff at both the Flagship development team as well as online services subsidiary Ping0 were let go. Both companies operate out of the same building.

Flagship declined to go into further detail about the layoffs, beyond stating that there was truth to the reports.
More information.
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July 11th, 2008, 22:13
More bad news - there is an unconfirmed news, that Korean publisher Hanbit is taking full control over the Hellgate IP.

Source: http://hellgateguru.com/2008/07/flag…llgate-london/
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July 11th, 2008, 22:25
Very sad if true—notice that Flagship is strenuously denying it—as in "outright lie"—so we'll hope this isn't another failure story for some landmark developers in the biz.

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July 11th, 2008, 22:34
Originally Posted by zyklop View Post
More bad news - there is an unconfirmed news, that Korean publisher Hanbit is taking full control over the Hellgate IP.

Source: http://hellgateguru.com/2008/07/flag…llgate-london/
[UPDATE: Fan site Hellgate Guru has translated a Korean news report indicating that Hellgate: London's publisher in the region, HanbitSoft, "…is taking full control over the Hellgate: London intellectual property from Flagship Studios," and intends to continue the game using in-house staff.

However, Flagship has officially responded: "This story is an outright lie. We have no idea where they are getting their information from and have asked legal counsel to pursue the issue… We are mystified by Hanbitsoft’s conclusions and any attempt to take over the IP will be met with a strong and swift response."]

On the comments you can find:

We are U.S. attorneys for HanbitSoft. Your story is a repeat of a quote that is not accurate and we request that you pull it down. At the request of Flagship's attorney, we must correct the record:

Please understand that the facts are (1) HanbitSoft is an exclusive licensee of both Hellgate and Mythos in Asia, with rights to sublicense the games; (2) in addition, HanbitSoft is a secured creditor who has been pledged the Mythos (but not the Hellgate) intellectual property as collateral for a loan; (3) Comerica, another secured lender, has been pledged the Hellgate intellectual property as its collateral for a loan; (4) Flagship Studios does not currently own the intellectual properties to either game, which are held in separate companies subject to the security interests of lenders, and Flagship Studios' interest in those companies is also pledged to its lenders; (5) it is unfortunate that Flagship turned down additional investments HanbitSoft offered to make that would have allowed it to keep its doors open, but HanbitSoft hopes to work with Comerica and some of the team at Flagship to see if there is a way to continue to generate content to keep Hellgate online in Asia and to finish the development of Mythos.

Dean Gloster
Nilima Patel
dgloster@fbm.com
npatel@fbm.com
www.fbm.com
Forum thread about the events:
http://forums.hellgatelondon.com/sho…d.php?t=106599

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Last edited by zakhal; July 11th, 2008 at 22:41.
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July 11th, 2008, 22:40
Found this on the HGguru forums.

We are U.S. attorneys for HanbitSoft. Your story is a repeat of a quote that is not accurate and we request that you pull it down. At the request of Flagship's attorney, we must correct the record:

Please understand that the facts are (1) HanbitSoft is an exclusive licensee of both Hellgate and Mythos in Asia, with rights to sublicense the games; (2) in addition, HanbitSoft is a secured creditor who has been pledged the Mythos (but not the Hellgate) intellectual property as collateral for a loan; (3) Comerica, another secured lender, has been pledged the Hellgate intellectual property as its collateral for a loan; (4) Flagship Studios does not currently own the intellectual properties to either game, which are held in separate companies subject to the security interests of lenders, and Flagship Studios' interest in those companies is also pledged to its lenders; (5) it is unfortunate that Flagship turned down additional investments HanbitSoft offered to make that would have allowed it to keep its doors open, but HanbitSoft hopes to work with Comerica and some of the team at Flagship to see if there is a way to continue to generate content to keep Hellgate online in Asia and to finish the development of Mythos.

Dean Gloster
Nilima Patel
dgloster@fbm.com
npatel@fbm.com
www.fbm.com
Seems FSS gave the Hellgate London IP as collateral for a loan. Very interesting.

EDIT: too late I guess.
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July 11th, 2008, 22:41
I wonder if this reflects the manpower reduction you'd expect to see at the end of a project. You'd have "development phase" levels, followed up "patch phase" levels, followed by "maintenance phase" levels. Moving from step 2 to step 3 would entail less people on the job. The deepest negative I see (assuming the report's even true) is that Flagship isn't going hot-n-heavy on a new project yet so they can't shift those people from HG:L to HellGate2:Maple Leaf Gardens.

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July 11th, 2008, 23:00
That thread zakhal quoted above makes it sound pretty serious. I bet those people that became Lifetime Members for megabucks are sweating it a bit. Also this line sounds particularly bad:
t is unfortunate that Flagship turned down additional investments HanbitSoft offered to make that would have allowed it to keep its doors open, but HanbitSoft hopes to work with Comerica and some of the team at Flagship to see if there is a way to continue to generate content to keep Hellgate online in Asia and to finish the development of Mythos.
Keep its doors open in Asia? or period? If Flagship tanks, that's not too encouraging for PC gaming in general and the already dwindling and dumbed down arpg subgenre in particular. Of course, could all be exaggerated, but when you let a lot of the dev team go and sell your IP for collateral, that doesn't say solvency in big letters.

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July 12th, 2008, 04:44
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Very sad if true—notice that Flagship is strenuously denying it—as in "outright lie"—so we'll hope this isn't another failure story for some landmark developers in the biz.
"Landmark developer"? Flagship was hardly a landmark developer as they showed a staggering level of incompetence from day one. Hellgate: London was shipped broken and unfinished, and it's still a bit of a mess even after months of patching. And even if the game was polished and bug free, there's the matter of uninspired gameplay and repetitive environments. On top of that, Flagship was its own PR nightmare with things like Bill Roper effectively telling the under serviced single player community to just suck it up and play online if wanted the latest patch, and Flagship in general blaming the community for all of Flagship's problems (as if it's our fault they botched up Hellgate: London the way they did).

If anything, this is good news. Hopefully whoever takes over the development of Hellgate: London will have the competence and dedication to turn it around and make it the game it should have been, and the incompetent and arrogant Flagship crew who created this mess will be told to take a hike.

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July 12th, 2008, 05:46
By landmark, I was referring to the work done by Bill Roper et al over the course of their careers, primarily with regard to their work at Blizzard North. I agree they've had a rough sail since then and much if it is no doubt their own fault. Still, it's sad to me to see old pc devs fail when they undertake ambitious new projects. And yes, that failure includes everything mentioned above.

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July 12th, 2008, 11:38
People seem to forget that the original Diablo developers are, in fact, not working for Blizzard on Diablo 3 - they are working at Flagship Studios on Hellgate: London. Personally, I was hoping Hellgate: London would be a big success, so it could fund future projects.
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July 12th, 2008, 11:52
diii.net are reporting that Flagship are closing (rumour). I'll guess we'll know shortly if that is true.
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July 12th, 2008, 12:12
Originally Posted by woges View Post
diii.net are reporting that Flagship are closing (rumour). I'll guess we'll know shortly if that is true.
Yup. Seems to be true. http://hellgateguru.com/2008/07/flag…udios-is-dead/
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July 12th, 2008, 12:20
What a bummer.
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July 12th, 2008, 12:23
They should have made a game with more depth, otherwise this wouldn't have happened. Hellgate London was perfect in its execution and 'polish' but just not a very good game overall, Imo. For some reason first person perspective just doesn't work with Diablo-style game design.
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July 12th, 2008, 13:11
I actually liked the game as a lite-mmog shooter and was waiting for 2.0 patch so this is bad news. Atleast the servers are still on. Hopefully they will find better people to continue the development.

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July 12th, 2008, 16:15
Guess it was worse than I thought.

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