British developer Elixir Studios (Republic, Evil Genius) is closing down all activities due to low interest from publishers for its (too?) original gameconcepts:
It is with great sadness that Elixir Studios today announced it is to cease day-to-day operations, effective immediately, and will seek the orderly sale and re-use of all its remaining assets and IP.
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Following the successful release of Evil Genius in October 2004, the Company has been working on a very innovative game for a major US software and games publisher for the past couple of years. This project was recently cancelled due to the perceived high-risk profile of the endeavour. Elixir also has a number of promising original prototypes at various stages of development but the Board of Directors feel that the current risk averse publishing climate, in the run up to the launch of next generation platforms, virtually precludes the signing of any original IP (which is not already part of a well-established franchise or license), without an unreasonably large strategic investment in the project by the developer themselves.
In light of the above, and the current financial and market conditions, the Directors have taken the decision to use a part of the cash resources held by the Company to treat its employees in a professional manner by paying redundancy packages to everyone and to allow an orderly wind-down of operations.
Mark Hewitt, CEO: “It is clearly a disappointing day for the team here, and for British independent developers in general, but we were extremely keen to wind things down on our terms and treat our employees and creditors properly and in a professional manner. It has been a real privilege working with such incredibly talented people, and I have nothing but admiration for our backers and the team here. We have a fantastic collection of people working at Elixir and other developers would be crazy not to snap them up immediately!”
Demis Hassabis, founder and Chairman: “It has been an amazing roller-coaster ride. It’s hard to believe that 7 years have flown by. I’m very proud of what all the staff at Elixir have achieved and the games we produced. We gave it everything we had but ultimately it wasn’t quite enough. It seems that today’s games industry no longer has room for small independent developers wanting to work on innovative and original ideas. Perhaps there is no longer any need for them. However, this was the sole purpose of setting up Elixir and something we could never compromise on by going down the licensing route.”
That probably also means that games like Blue Vault or the mmorpg Republic Dawn won’t be finished.