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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Iron Lore Closes!

Default Iron Lore Closes!

February 28th, 2008, 16:21
Here´s the sad news found on Iron Lore´s site:
It is with great regret that we must announce that as of close of business Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Iron Lore Entertainment has ceased active game development. Several unrelated events occurred which resulted in Iron Lore being unable to secure funding for its next project.

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has helped us in the last seven years – our team who moved mountains to create such great games, our publisher THQ who has been a great partner through three product development cycles, and most of all our customers and fans. We owe all of the success we’ve had to you, and our greatest satisfaction has come from creating games that have given enjoyment to the community.

While Iron Lore will not continue, the talent of the team is embodied in the individuals now available for other opportunities. If you are a developer or publisher looking to hire top-notch experienced developers, please send an email to pchieffo “at” ironlore “dot” com and we will be happy to facilitate recruiting with you.
Iron Lore also owns it’s powerful and flexible engine and tool set, and is actively pursuing licensing opportunities. If you are interested in further information about the technology and licensing options, please contact pchieffo “at” ironlore “dot” com.
Source: Eurogamer.de More information.
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February 28th, 2008, 16:21
That's a bit of a surprise — I was under the impression that TQ was a success. I wonder what happened?
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February 28th, 2008, 16:26
It's shocked that Iron Lore will close. Because I thought that TQ is selling quite well, there shouldn't be a problem on money.

I'm curious what do the "Several unrelated events" mentioned in the news mean?
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February 28th, 2008, 16:31
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
That's a bit of a surprise — I was under the impression that TQ was a success. I wonder what happened?
Actually I'd heard rumours of this from multiple sources before. I didn't put much credence in it at most because I also assumed TQ and TQ:IT were successes, but go figure.

Originally Posted by kencube
I'm curious what do the "Several unrelated events" mentioned in the news mean?
not related with each other, i.e. THQ pulled out for some reason, then they couldn't find another publisher, and they can't self-fund.

Believe it or not, this looks a lot like what happened to Troika. Troika's games all made a profit, but obviously none of them enough for Troika to become self-funded. It's obvious Iron Lore never made enough to become self-funding either (that's pretty hard to do, anyway). So like Troika, the moment they can't find someone to back their next project, they fold

Why they couldn't find anyone is the big mystery. Troika never made a big profit and publishers were scared of their hardcore PC-gamer only market, considering it unstable, but the same does not apply to Iron Lore.
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February 28th, 2008, 16:36
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Why they couldn't find anyone is the big mystery. Troika never made a big profit and publishers were scared of their hardcore PC-gamer only market, considering it unstable, but the same does not apply to Iron Lore.
Unfortunately, the market wasn't the only thing about Troika games that was unstable.
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February 28th, 2008, 16:53
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Unfortunately, the market wasn't the only thing about Troika games that was unstable.
LOL…. yeah Troika will always be remembered for buggy releases but was it that really that bad? I mean compared to other games of similar complexity.
Last edited by stealth; February 28th, 2008 at 16:59.
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February 28th, 2008, 17:16
Very sad. Apparently the expectations for Titan Quest sales must have been extremely high. You would think an old pro like Brian Sullivan would be able sell his products—its not like he's never made anything besides TQ that sold well. It's also ironic that the game was aimed at a non-niche part of the PC market; apparently it's not just rpgs that are risky for big devs.

The worst part is that it reinforces this idea that PC games can't make publishers enough profit. Kind of makes you see the logic behind Bioware going with EA., etc.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; February 28th, 2008 at 19:24.
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February 28th, 2008, 17:55
I suspect that THQs own expectations were too high - and then they pulled themselves away.

THQ has a notoriously short attention lifespan.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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Default How the story went

February 28th, 2008, 18:16
As I understood from the devs' posts on the Iron Lore website the story went like this:

TQ was the first project of a new independent developer studio - THQ gave them quite a lousy contract, but better a lousy one than no contract. THQ financed the development.

TQ sold very well and THQ asked for a simple and small Add-on (Think Hellfire), but Iron Lore wanted to more, so they financed the expenses mostly themselves (on credit).

TQ-Immortal Throne sold somewhat okayish but not great - so they couldn't pay back their loans with their share of the sales alone.

THQ stopped their financing of further patches (IL started to code them themselves, but couldn't finish them) and IL neared bancrupcy.

So IL helped getting Dawn of War - Soulstorm out of the door to buy some time for a new contract for their next project, but they failed and had to close down.

Sad story - nearly the same as the fate of Troika!

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February 28th, 2008, 18:35
I have the sinking feeling that Rupert Murdoch is somehow behind all of this.
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February 28th, 2008, 18:46
Originally Posted by Sir_Brennus
Sad story - nearly the same as the fate of Troika!
Indeed. They didn't want to make a Horse Armor equivalent and got this in return. The industry can be so unfair.

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February 28th, 2008, 19:10
So I'm still getting my Dawn of War - Soulstorm, right?
Pleaaaaase! I want Dawn of War!!
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February 28th, 2008, 19:17
Given the overall economic climate, I think we'll see a lot more of this over the next few years. The debt bubble has collapsed (intentionally?) and the unwind will continue for quite some time. Debt is going to kill in these times. Just take a look at the explosion of foreclosures and bankruptcies in the US.

Unfortunately, what this leads to is a further consolidation of resources and market control into the giants EA and Microsoft. The big (rich) get bigger and the small (poor) get eaten or die off… nothing unusual there, just that it's going to be more pronounced in this period.
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February 28th, 2008, 20:19
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
That's a bit of a surprise — I was under the impression that TQ was a success. I wonder what happened?
Sadly from what I heard it wasn't that successful …

— Mike
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February 28th, 2008, 20:59
Boooooo, TQ w/ expansion is my favorite hack n slash ever, was hoping i'd see another brilliant skill system pumped out by these folks….
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February 28th, 2008, 22:03
Originally Posted by Zakhary View Post
So I'm still getting my Dawn of War - Soulstorm, right?
Pleaaaaase! I want Dawn of War!!
It´s already finished and according to the GameStar review exactly as good as all the other games in the series.
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February 28th, 2008, 22:20
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
not related with each other, i.e. THQ pulled out for some reason, then they couldn't find another publisher, and they can't self-fund.
Actually, those are all directly related events.

While a disappointment, this isn't really that remarkable. There's a tremendous amount of risk in going it alone and developing a AAA title. Based on the post about THQ not giving them a good contract, the risk was that much higher. Even with a successful project, you've got a contract giving most the profits to the publisher and then you've got an expensive, AAA dev team to house and feed leaving you with very little cushion left. So, it all rides on the next project which, it would seem, Brian could not get anyone to bite on. End of story.

The hint at "unrelated events" would seem that something(s) else made this already risky picture that much worse.
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February 28th, 2008, 22:27
Sad news. TQ is arguably the best current interpretation of the hack'n'slash genre. I wish them all well in the future and thanks to Jeff Goodsill for answering our queries in the past.

-= RPGWatch =-
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February 28th, 2008, 22:51
That this studio is closing is for me the only reason to actually buy this game - I want to see what they did.

And yes, kind of an librarian/archivist is inside of me …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 28th, 2008, 23:16
sigh 10 years from now only games with "ultra realistic" boobs would ever be made and do well in the market

So sad to see a good dev go
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