Factor 5 Shutting Down?

Kotaku has reported that Factor 5, the creators of Liar and the Rogue Squadron series, has closed it’s doors. Factor 5 is just one of many recent video game companies that has either shut its doors or laid off a large number of employees. A post over at the IGN boards by Matt Casamassina leaked the rumor:

(Casamassina) [I w]as hoping the rumors weren’t true. Contacted Julian over at F5 to shed some light, but he didn’t get back to me. Got an e-mail from an inside source tonight:

“Hi Matt,

How have you been? Haven’t seen you guys since E3. I hope that you’re doing well!

[Redacted] wanted me to contact you with some late breaking news. We just learned from inside sources that developer Factor 5 has officially closed their doors as of today. That’s some pretty big news considering that those guys have been around for quite a while. It’s definitely a real shame! I hope that this information is helpful to you. Take care, and please say hi to Bozon for me.”

Free Radical Shuts Down

The developers of Time Splitters and Haze, Free Radical, have reported shut down permanently. Apparently all the employees came to work to find themselves locked out of the building, which is a pretty dick way to shut down a company. I mean seriously, is that necessary? I guess they had a meeting later in the day to officially say “It’s Over” (presumably after opening the building, or, perhaps, in the parking lot). Anyway, Haze kind of sort of sucked, but they were working on a Time Splitters sequel, which was a pretty cool series.

Microsoft Closes Ensemble Studios

Microsoft has officially confirmed that it will be closing down it’s eternal developer Ensemble Studios. Ensemble Studios is probably best known for their real time strategy Age of Empires games, as well as the upcoming Xbox 360 Halo Wars. Halo Wars is still scheduled for release, Ensemble will be shut down once the game comes out sometime early next year. Additionally, many of the “leadership” team from Ensemble will be forming a new development house, and they have entered into talks regarding supporting Halo Wars after it launches.

“This was a fiscally rooted decision that keeps MGS on its growth path. While the decision to dissolve Ensemble was not an easy one, Microsoft is working to place as many Ensemble employees who do not move to the newly formed studio into open positions within Microsoft as possible.”

MGS = Microsoft Game Studios, not Metal Gear Solid, I think. Maybe. Anyway, not awesome, the Age of Empires games were always fun. Halo Wars…I’m not sure what I think yet, the screen shots haven’t really done anything for me, but who knows.

[ via Gamestop ]