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Dark Matter team (Interwave Studios) laid off after failed Kickstarter


FrieChamp
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There is some concerning news from Interwave Studios (Nuclear Dawn, Dark Matter). I'll just quote the Gamasutra news-piece:

 

Interwave Studios, the company behind the much-discussed Metroid-like Dark Matter, says that it is working on an ending to its game -- but there's a little more to the story.

The Iceberg Interactive-published Dark Matter was pulled from Steam and GOG.com this week, after it emerged that the game did not have a proper ending. Players who reached the end of the game are told "To be continued" -- although no sequel is planned.

Interwave, the studio behind the game, has now said that this abrupt ending was as a result of its Kickstarter failing earlier this year, and that it would be adding an ending in a later patch.

"At present, the end of the game may cause confusion and is not satisfactory," Iceberg CEO Erik Schreuder admitted. "We sincerely apologise for this, as it is not of the standard we would expect. We are working to offer a more conclusive and satisfying ending to the game as we speak and expect a fix to appear as soon we are able to."

However, what the team has failed to disclose is that it isn't working on the title anymore. Straight after the Kickstarter failed in August, most of the Interwave team was laid off, and the vast majority of the original Dark Matter developers are not working on the title any more, according to Gamasutra sources.

A source close to the studio told Gamasutra that Interwave is now a "sleeping company," with only a bare minimum of management at the studio, and insufficient developers to finish the title under current staffing levels. However, it's unclear whether third-parties would be able to finish the game separately of the original team.

In addition, the front page banner for the Interwave website doesn't display anymore, and the Interwave forums have now been connected to the GameConnect community website -- both are owned by Interwave's parent company.

 

http://gamasutra.com/view/news/202897/Dark_Matter_pulled_from_Steam_after_team_is_laid_off.php

 

Sounds to me like most of the staff was on the Dark Matter team. I hope Steppenwolf and the others are doing OK :(

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What a load of complete shit. This whole situation could have been avoided if they'd just clearly marked the game as being an episode, first instalment, or something. Anything is better than misleading people into thinking a game is a full story experience, only for them to be blindsided by it ending out of nowhere without so much as a cinematic or piece of art.

 

IMO no blame at all can be aimed at the actual developmers, only the leaders and/or marketing fools who thought they'd get away with this rather than just being open and transparent with people. They've ruined what chance the game had of still being a small success.

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FrieChamp i haven't worked on this game. Left Interwave 2.5 years ago. I believe only Xanthi is affected from mapcore members.

 

http://gamasutra.com/view/news/202919/The_Dark_Matter_debacle_Interwave_responds.php

 

Management didn't know about the ending? I don't believe that for one second.

 

Maybe Iceberg released an older build for whatever reason? It's strange that there wasn't even a concept painting or something for an end screen. Who thought this would be a good idea to end a game?

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Yeah that's pretty unfortunate.

 

Here's a video showing it for anyone wanting to see:

http://youtu.be/eTPS_GGhMqk?t=35s

 

Hahaha oh man, the genuine disappointment in his voice... you see, this is why it was such a horrible thing to do. Can you imagine something like that happening in Half-Life 2 when you walk through a door in Black Mesa East or some shit?

 

What is that flash of art that appears just before the text comes up, btw? Is it the loading screen imagery or some lazily hidden stuff that was meant to come next?

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FrieChamp i haven't worked on this game. Left Interwave 2.5 years ago. I believe only Xanthi is affected from mapcore members.

 

http://gamasutra.com/view/news/202919/The_Dark_Matter_debacle_Interwave_responds.php

 

Management didn't know about the ending? I don't believe that for one second.

 

Maybe Iceberg released an older build for whatever reason? It's strange that there wasn't even a concept painting or something for an end screen. Who thought this would be a good idea to end a game?

 

Oh, OK - good! Is it New World Interactive/Freelance now? Might want to update your entry in the then! :)

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Sounds like pretty bad form marks. The fact that they've tried to lay all the blame at the feet of their (now laid-off staff) makes me think that they're probably assholes. You shouldn't do that in any circumstances, period. You're the captain of the ship and it's your responsibility what goes out the fucking door. The place going under is probably for the best, just a shame about the project that their staff presumably put a lot of love into.

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The problem with these type of guys is that they're gonna be hired into the management team of a different studio and probably get a salary increase as well. :/

 

Very sad to hear it turned out this way, looked interesting.

Edited by Chimeray
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