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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Flagship Studios Going Under 160

Lunatrik writes "In a not entirely unexpected turn of events, Flagship Studios, the producers of the bug-ridden (at release!) game Hellgate: London is going under, as reported by multiple sources. In addition, many current subscribers to the game are finding themselves unable to cancel their subscriptions due to 'technical errors.'"
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Flagship Studios Going Under

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  • by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:38AM (#24170323)
    People have had trouble canceling their accounts since HGL launched, for god's sake. Half the system thinks that they've canceled, but the charge still goes through to the credit card... and of course, since they're supposedly not subscribed, they can't cancel a second time.
  • Re:interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:45AM (#24170357)

    It has nothing to do with WoW, it's more like Diablo with guns (or Serious Sam with RPG stats and equipment, if you prefer that).

  • Re:what next? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:53AM (#24170393)
    Chances are that there's wording in the subscription contract that negates any 'right' to accessibility or usability. There was a class-action suit against Ultima Online ten years ago, over what amounted to lag, and it's been standard boilerplate since.

    Also, while Flagship and Ping0 are going the way of the dodo, the Hellgate and Mythos IP are owned lock, stock and barrel by two other companies. Chances are that HGL will continue to limp along for a while, but the likelihood of serious patching and new content is low.

  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:16AM (#24170495) Journal

    Well.. send a copy of whatever info you get along to your credit card company, along with the most important piece of information: Your desire for them not to accept any more charges from the company. Make it the CC company's problem, and see how quickly it gets resolved.

    I'm pretty sure the CC companies would take you at your word, ANYWAY, but a lil' proof doesn't hurt.

  • by ILuvRamen ( 1026668 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:28AM (#24170547)
    if your product wasn't delivered/provided as promised, you can fill out a chargeback form with your credit card company. A couple dozen of those from different people and the credit card company will look into what happened, see they're all valid, and immediately approve all chargebacks against that company. Cancelling your card is a lot more of a pain, though a good way for the retention department to increase your credit limit lol.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:29AM (#24170549)

    They don't have a choice. Consumer protection on credit cards is very strong. If you say "I'm not paying this" then you don't. The bank blocks the charge and that's that. If they company wants your money, they have to pursue you through other means. It's different with a debit card, since then the bank has already given the money to the company, so it is then somewhat discretionary on their part. However in the case of a credit card you are just disputing that you owe any money.

  • by Ravadill ( 589248 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:20AM (#24170929)
    A second Korean company (that was also the Korean distributor for Hellgate) that they also owe money has taken ownership of all the rights/code to Mythos.
  • Re:Blizzard (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jellybob ( 597204 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @06:16AM (#24171187) Journal

    More accurate would be to say they were going to release subscriber-only content - the last time I looked they'd so far released a new area to play in.

    Oh, and you got a chest to keep stuff in for your other characters.

    As far as I can tell, that is the sum total of what you get for subscribing to the game. I can't say I'm surprised by them not being able to sustain the business model, but I'll be sad to see them go.

  • Rumours and Hear-say (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @08:05AM (#24171619)

    I would like to respond to some of the recent coverage that Flagship Studios has received as a result of the publication of Guy Somberg's blog.

    Everyone has good days and bad days. Guy was having a bad day. It was his friend's last day of internship and he found out another friend was thinking of leaving. He vented, exaggerated, and posted information that was inaccurate.

    We will be the first to admit that Hellgate: London did launch with some problems. The game would certainly have benefited from a couple more months in the oven, but as an independent developer we didn't have the ability to delay our ship date. It can be difficult to stand by and see something that you put your heart and soul into, week in and week out, get the initial reception Hellgate got. It can put a strain on any developer and some days it can get to you. Thankfully, after some very hard work by all the people here, including Guy, the game is much better now and we believe in the future of Hellgate.

    Both our studios are currently fully staffed, with our San Francisco studio working on ongoing content for Hellgate: London and our Seattle studio working on our free-to-play MMORPG, Mythos, which should go into open beta within the next couple months. In total, we have over 100 employees working for both studios. As is typical in the industry, after a game is released some people naturally want to work on something else and they leave the company to do so. But in total we have had less than 10% turn-over and have rehired for all needed positions.

    All our Directors and Founders are still working at Flagship, and all of them are working on Hellgate: London or Mythos. The team size for Hellgate is as big now as when we shipped. We are putting all of our efforts into these projects and I think it will show in the upcoming Hellgate Abyss Chronicles.

    David Brevik
    Flagship Studios"

  • by Karma Bandit ( 1305259 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:05AM (#24172539)

    The most striking thing was how closely the developers copied Diablo. It really shows a lack of imagination, and that is reflected in the overall feel of the game.

    You do realize that these were the guys that originally developed diablo? I think you can't fault them for copying their own game after leaving a company that they thought was taking their game in the wrong direction.

  • Flagshipped.com (Score:2, Informative)

    by Flagshipped ( 1229610 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:46AM (#24172813)
    Looks like possible dark days ahead for Hellgate: London players. Though nothing is certain until the official word and IP ownership is decided if a legal battle ends up coming into play. http://www.flagshipped.com/ [flagshipped.com]
  • by hantak ( 150010 ) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:43PM (#24173737)

    That posting was in response to a blog posting by a HGL programmer, Guy Somberg, from early June:

    http://hellgate.incgamers.com/n/6097/fss-programmer-speaks-out [incgamers.com]

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:15PM (#24173967) Homepage Journal

    "The lucrative SE Asia market never launched"

    That's because the SE Asia market has been cornered by a FREE GAME, Maiet's "Gunz: The Duel"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @06:44PM (#24175843)

    No they didn't, you clicked on the link and agreed to it, that's how it works.

    Shame on you for not reading what you agreed to. It's all there.

  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:47AM (#24178259)

    It's different with a debit card, since then the bank has already given the money to the company, so it is then somewhat discretionary on their part.

    While it can be harder to get the money back, you can definitely stop them from taking any more of your money in the future. Note however that the last time I had to do that sort of thing, my bank (Abbey in the UK) had to issue me a new debit card to stop the payments, they couldn't (or wouldn't) simply refuse them. That was a hassle, but it worked.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI