Aliens: Colonial Marines developer TimeGate Studios has closed its doors and laid off its entire staff. Things were not looking good for the developer after they filed for bankruptcy last week, and now this company-wide layoff confirms those fears.
TimeGate Studios‘ financial troubles date back even further than the Chapter 11 filing, to a court case with publisher SouthPeak Interactive, who alleged TimeGate owed them a substantial amount of money. In April, TimeGate lost their appeal against SouthPeak, and subsequently accrued a $7.35 million dollar debt to the publisher.
TimeGate’s debt to SouthPeak was piled on top of money they owed Epic Games, Agora Games, and DJ2 Entertainment. In total, TimeGate owed somewhere in the vicinity of $50 million to various parties.
The studio’s closure comes not that long after a case was brought against Gearbox Software and SEGA for misleading trailers and gameplay demos for Aliens: Colonial Marines. While it is Gearbox and SEGA that are getting the brunt of the attention, it is believed that TimeGate was responsible for a large portion of the game’s development.
Whether or not the negative backlash over Aliens: Colonial Marines — which was panned across the board by critics — has anything to do with the studio’s closure is unclear, but it likely didn’t help.
Not that long ago the Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines was scrapped, even despite claims it was the superior version. Now, the game is in the running for worst game of 2013, and those developers involved with it are trying to draw attention to their next projects…if they haven’t been closed down.
TimeGate was in development and ready to release a new game, Minimum, on the PC, but apparently all traces of that free-to-play shooter are gone. And, unfortunately, this is probably the last we will hear of it.
To be fair, TimeGate wasn’t a developer with a significant amount of renown. They developed the Section 8 series, delivered some F.E.A.R. expansion packs, created an RTS version of the Axis & Allies board game, and got started with another RTS series, Kohan. They tried to make their mark, but unfortunately things didn’t pan out.
[Update: According to Sega's financial reports, Aliens: Colonial Marines still managed to sell 1.31 million units.]