Great MMO Company Collapses of Our Time – Flaghip Studios

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Flagship Studios

  • Deceased Games: Hellgate: London, Mythos
  • Studio Launch Date: 2004 / 2005-ish
  • Studio Closure Date: August 2008
  • Invested In By: Independent investors, publishing partnerships such as Hanbitsoft, financial services company Comerica
  • Estimated Money Blown: Unknown, but the title spent around 4 years in development and when Flagship closed over 100 people lost their jobs… so multi-millions
  • Cause of Death: Spending all the game budget, having to ship before the game was ready, aiming to do everything at once
A female Templar in plate armour holding a gun.

Guns pretty much made hard, heavy armour suits (or armoured midriff tops, apparently) like that redundant. But MAGIC I guess.

Flagship Studios was founded by ex-Blizzard employees and developers of gaming classic Diablo. As such, expectations were high and promises believed for its first title, Hellgate: London (H:L). H:L was billed as pretty much the ultimate mix of RPG, FPS, dungeon crawler and pseudo-MMO – almost a “everything a player could want in one box” kind-of deal. Unfortunately Flagship failed to deliver on the hype in part and didn’t attract enough players, thus leading to a suicidal spiral of not earning enough to fix key elements of the game, which in turn saw players leave, which saw less revenue come back to Flagship.

To stay alive, Flagship basically hocked everything, including the “IP, code, tech and tools” to their financial services company and game Mythos to Asian publishing partner Hanbitsoft. Unable to pay on their debts, the company was shut down, assets seized and Hellgate: London’s multiplayer servers were formally closed about six months later in January 2009. Hellgate: London has reappeared in western markets, currently as Hellgate: Eternity (published by some of Flagship’s former partners who had bought the IP), and their other title Mythos still lives on, but Flagship Studios is long gone.

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One thought on “Great MMO Company Collapses of Our Time – Flaghip Studios

  1. Pingback: Pick A Winner! | Vicarious Existence

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