Muckyfoot's gone

Makers of Startopia are no more. Guess it’s tough to generate enough revenue to keep 40 people employed.

Empire says Bulletproof Monk will still come out. Speculation is another development team will complete it.

I wonder if this is a case where the publisher, Empire, was no longer obligated to fund the development and Muckyfoot couldn’t pay people.

“Another development team will complete it.” Right.

Well, it could be mostly complete, and Empire’s in the position of being able to offer contracts to the now unemployed Muckyfoot workers.

Poor guys. Having enough talent to make something like Startopia and then ending up working on soul destroying movie tie-ins like Blade 2. Better than unemployment, but so is eating bees.

Two ex-Bullfrog teams down, one to go?

Very sad news. I really loved Startopia and kinda dug Urban Chaos. Seemed like a good dev team.

They were very late with Bulletproof Monk - mostly due to goalpost moving by the publisher (Empire Interactive).

What I hear is that Empire interferred with their plans and refused to make project payments unless an (undisclosed) third party took a share of the risk associated with redundancy payouts.

The company then had to fold, leaving the employees skint.

What Empire had been hoping to do was take all the staff working on Monk and finish it up without any obligations to the developer. A good plan, except all the ex-staff appear to have said fuck off.

My information is 2nd hand and could be wrong…

Do you mean Elixer?

I think the there are still a couple more teams, but they’re all Lionhead satellites. The guys working on whatever that 3d RPG (project ego?) are two brothers from the original DK team, and the team working on BC are also former Bullfroggers I believe.

It’s such a bummer. I remember when they were hoping to make the ‘topia’ games a franchise. So sad.

Hopefully they will release they source to their engine so the game doesn’t break with future versions of Windows come out like so many others. Who knows maybe some 13 year old could get the 3 almost finished rooms that didn’t make it in the final game working.

It’s a tough world out there guys, it’s not all polishing your Ferrari and building rocket-ships. ;-)

Seriously, though, I know a few of the Mucky Foot guys, and they indeed were talented and the fact that they were stuck making crap movie licenses shows what’s wrong with this industry: Publishers are clueless.

Lionhead. Hassabis left there to form Elixir. Mucky Foot and Lost Toys have both bought it now, and they’re the only three dedicated ‘ex-Bullfrog’ type teams I recall (although of course other people are working on different titles around the place)

They are indeed great guys. I’ve known their online personae for years. I don’t think it’s possible to be the next John Carmack by working within the system. That’s going to require a renegade with a killer game and the magical ability to capture the zeitgeist IMO. Hell, even Blizzard kinda sucks now. This industry can kill anything cool.