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New Ghostbusters Developer Fireforge Goes Bankrupt

After failing to garner good reviews or attention, the company behind the new Ghostbusters game filed for bankruptcy.

If you didn't like the new Ghostbusters movie, or the new Ghostbusters game, you weren't alone. Fireforge Games, the developers of the video game adaptation of the movie, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just 3 days after releasing the new game.

According to the bankruptcy filings, the company has been attempting to sell of any assets they own throughout the month of July, in a desperate attempt to pay off their $12 million debt. While this could be associated with the enormous hate for the movie not including the original cast, it was mostly because the game was just bad.

On Metacritic, the PC version has an overall score (OC) of 41, the PS4 version has an OC of 31, as does the Xbox One version. While Jason D'Aprile of GameSpot just called the game "boring" and a "slog", Justin McElroy of Polygon called the game "a deplorable, cynical bit of licensed drivel that wouldn't be worth the $50 asking price if the instruction manual were printed on a $50 bill."

A good reason why the game was so bad at launch was because of its 8 month development period. Indeed, a full AAA game published by Activision in 8 months. This was most likely so they were able to get the game out at the same time as the movie. Clearly it didn't work out as they had hoped, and the company declared its bankruptcy on July 15th. 

The History of Fireforge

Fireforge has a long history of failed projects. The company was founded in Irvine, California by ex-Blizzard employee Tim Campbell in 2011. The developer has started and stopped production on two MOBA-like games over the past five years.

One of those games, code-named Zeus, was supposed to be published by the Razer. The other game, code-named Atlas, was funded by the Chinese giant Tencent, which also owns 37% of Fireforge.

Because of these failed projects, records show that Fireforge owes around $11.3 million to Tencent and is entangled in a lawsuit, currently on hold, with a Singapore-based private company called Min Productions -- which just happens to be owned by Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan. Tan claims that Fireforge used Razer's money for Project Zeus to work on Tencent's Project Atlas. Fireforge claims the opposite, saying they only stopped work on Zeus once Razer stopped paying them.

The End

It remains to be seen whether or not Fireforge can pull through both the lawsuits, their debt, and bankruptcy. Perhaps they will somehow manage to resurrect themselves once all of this over -- yet somehow, I very much doubt it.

Published Aug. 2nd 2016

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