Damnation studio dismantled - Report

Entire Blue Omega team laid off, according to programmer's Twitter feed; lawsuits show troubled development process for Codemasters-published action game.

Blue Omega Entertainment's Damnation launched in May for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC to critical disdain. Now the alternate-history shooter may wind up as Blue Omega's suitably named epitaph.

Lawsuits point to a difficult development for Damnation.

According to a Twitter post from Blue Omega programmer Geoff Rowland, "the entire Blue Omega team was laid off," effective last Friday. It was not certain if Rowland was referring to the entire film-and-game production company or simply those employees with a focus on game development. Multiple inquiries to Blue Omega and its representatives went unreturned as of press time.

A pair of lawsuits spotted by Shacknews and confirmed by GameSpot depict a significantly troubled development for Damnation. In January, the company filed a lawsuit against Point of View, a company it subcontracted for work on the game. The complaint states that Point of View violated its contract by seeking payment directly from Damnation publisher Codemasters.

According to the suit, Codemasters "consistently was delinquent in making the payments it owed to Blue Omega," and the direct payments would have enabled development on the game to continue despite the publisher's refusal to pay its debt to Blue Omega. The suit alleges that Codemasters missed almost every payment deadline and that the publisher's liaison to Blue Omega said the tardy financing was happening on a number of its projects.

Point of View wasn't the only subcontractor to run afoul of Blue Omega. The production company also filed suit against Velvetelvis Studios the following month, saying the subcontractor failed to meet milestone deadlines and failed to work "using sound, professional practices and in a competent and professional manner." The suit against Point of View has since been dismissed, while the Velvetelvis dispute has been stagnant since March.

Damnation isn't the only game project on Blue Omega's slate. The company's Web site lists an unannounced "high-octane shooter" for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, as well as Attack of the Dust Bunnies, an Apple iPhone game set for release this month.

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99 comments
Staryoshi87
Staryoshi87

I just completed Damnation today. 10 hours and a few swear words later I feel like it was worth the effort. It's a technical abomination, but it's a good learning experience. I was going to send an e-mail to Blue Omega to see what exactly went wrong. I figured it was a rushed development cycle or some ancillary issues... looks like I was right :P The whole situation is strange and interesting...

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

It all makes perfect sense now: THIS is why the game turned out to be so horrible...because they weren't getting paid!

Irve
Irve

@Death_Blade_182 i can tell you right now that the loss of marks for the PS3 version of Fallout is not to do with the almost unnoticable difference in the graphics ... it's to do with the worse frame rate of the Ps3 version.

maverick_76
maverick_76

That sucks for these guys but the game was not very good at all.

zeroking420_666
zeroking420_666

wow that game blow chunks I got through the 1st lvl and had to turn off my xbox360 and try to get rid of the nightmares that followed by playin that terrible game, so glad that team got dismantled.

jord_111
jord_111

I'm glad the team are being punished formaking such a terrible game! this game had quite a good idea, but this game was filled with everything a game shouldnt have ,loads of glitches,horrible voice acting,stiff animation,horrible controls i could go on. I even regreted renting it!

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

The overall review was a 3.5 for both the ps3 version: http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/damnation/index.html and the xbox360 version: http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/damnation/index.html The critic score admittedly was a 3.9 for the xbox 360 version and a 3.7 for the PS3 that does not however negate the fact that the critic score for the PC version? was 4.1 the best out of all 3 critic score's But yet again despite that? Its still was reviewed with a 3.5 @Death_Blade_182 Its not really fair to compare them here's why. You're looking at a small piece of the pie. Here's some food for thought the xbox 360 critic score has 24 reviews attributed to it. How many critic scores were attributed to the PS3 version? 16. How many critic scores were attributed to the PC version? A mere 6. Its not fair to compare the critic scores which I assume you're doing since otherwise you don't have a leg to stand on argument wise cause they all got the same review score of 3.5 The critic scores mean nothing at this point cause they aren't all on the same level if the same number of critics reviewed all 3 platforms then we could compare the critic scores but we can't cause they didn't.

When you've got 24 - 16 and 6 those are disparate numbers enough that a comparison is not warranted.

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

Dynomite_D & Kevin-V: You don't get it. The game review is linked to the PS3 version, and every time there is a link to a bad game review, it's coincidentally linked to the PS3 version of the game, never to the Xbox version. Not only that, but Gamespot gave Fallout 3 for the PS3 an 8.5 rather than a 9.0 for the Xbox and PC, just because supposedly there's marked antialiasing, but there is none, I can tell you, as I own the game, and even if there was, that's no reason to give it a lower score. And every time there are news about something good happening to Sony, the editors compare it to how Microsoft and Nintendo have done better. I know what I'm talking about, Gamespot hates Sony.

mayceV
mayceV

well i can see where the publisher is comming from. Damnation was a poorly designed game, and the publisher lost a lot of money on it. the game sold less than 100,000 copies thats abyssal. The publisher is trying to stay alive expesially in this economy. Yeah I feel sorry for the workers I'm not heartless, but the design crew really messed up.

pakhair
pakhair

I had high Expectations from Damnation but It was a Terrible Game...........

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

damnation wasnt great to be fair, but ive played, alot worse, onechanbara anyone ?

SchmeeboDaBear
SchmeeboDaBear

Serves them right for actually trying to make a game called, "Attack of The Dust Bunnies." That would have been another game that would be accepted with "Critical Disdain"

MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

"attack of the dust bunnies" really tops off the article lol

picklesrocks
picklesrocks

i thought the game wasnt that bad, critics just whine over the fact that its not another gears of war of COD 4

pidow
pidow

I've played Damnation and believe me, it could have been made better, I liked the way one got around in the game and if, if the game had more kick to it, who knows. Maybe something for the better can happen and put things in the right direction as far as game making is concerned..I'm hoping for the best for them all.

Suicide-Panda
Suicide-Panda

Tbh they need to think hard, and come back and make a better game next time round

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

It's good to fall down, sometimes. Teaches you how to get up better, and this time - survive the next round. That's how people grow.

jadefury27
jadefury27

well at least it won't get a sequel.

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

i hate it when video game devs and companies fight over BS

kvan33
kvan33

When a game sucks, I always blame the design team, not the developers. They just get paid to code what they are told to. I'm sure the talented ones will have no problem getting a new job with a better company. For some, this may be the best thing to happen to them.

qaasq
qaasq

ahhh idk why im complainin here, but out here in germany ona military base we only get crappy game the day they are released. like Damnation. The only good games we get are like...months old...

Commisar123
Commisar123

yes the game sucked but its sad that they got terminated after their first game. I mean come on give them a chance

Nephilim83
Nephilim83

That's such an ironic title to what inevitably became their own demise. I hate to see a dev go under like that, but it seems they didn't have much to offer anyway. They really should have known better. Damnation is absolute torment. I like the steampunk look, but even that was done poorly.

shade1978x
shade1978x

I shouldn't be laughing, but I am. "Damnation". Ha!

Jackc8
Jackc8

There are companies who make good games, they make a profit, and stay in business. Then there are companies who make bad games, they don't make a profit, they go out of business. That's the way it works, and that's the way it should work.

masterclone
masterclone

I don't get why people call this sad? They did a bad job, they didn't profit. If the game they released had been better and the company was run more smart (Lawsuits times 2 against subcontractors aint smart) they would still be around. If the people that lost their job have any programing/design talent they'll find a new job. But losing your job cause you did someting halfassed is not sad.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Add this to the string of recent development studios that have been closed down after releasing their game :(

duke-nukem11
duke-nukem11

i like my review of damnation. quick and to the point lol

ZippyDSMLee
ZippyDSMLee

The problem here is 2 fold first off contracts were not held to making things sticky and more costly than they should be and if that was not bad enough the game itself did not do well. With gaming being the new hollywood having that burden of cost on a title can lead to things being catastrophic. In this new age of gaming you'll see many devs close down and reorganize unless they are backed by conglomerated publishers who are more interested in keeping the dev brand name alive than the quality and style of developmental within it.... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Damanation is a bit annoying it has some nice level design but its under utilized(empty) which makes the mediocre title far worse than it should be. Gears...uhg....Gears and the newer Halo titles are nothing but cash ins so I see them in a worse light than a new title that simply failed to meet its core potential... still...Damnation is a mess.

FoxMcCloudDS
FoxMcCloudDS

@ MST3K_Servo Programmers are not the designers, nor the producers, nor the directors. They are just hard working gentlemen (and woman) that now, have no job. Saying it's their fault for a game sucking is ignorant. You can't build a 25 million dollar game with only a fraction of the price Nor can you change the story, or style. You follow your boss's orders, just as any job, and even when you follow them perfectly, you still get laid off. it's sad you *exploit deleted*

Gblazer01
Gblazer01

and people wonder y they're getting laid off...

ISuPrEmAcY32I
ISuPrEmAcY32I

Well I'm never happy to hear about a game developer going under. I honestly can't say that i ever heard of the game or the company before, but i have a respect for people who bust their butts to get their gaming vision out to the world. Sorry to hear that the game didn't love up to expectations and the company went under.

Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

After installing 11g worth of this digital turd, I Un-installed before I even finished the whole training area. Now that is something I don't think I have hardly EVER done. Some would say 'well you didn't even give it a chance'. But cmon, it wasn't hard to tell at all where that game was going after just 10-15 mins of play. I left it installed for quite a while before I uninstalled it thinking that I would go back to it and keep giving it a shot. Well the thought of playing it again never came....... Too bad, could have actually been cool. I did like the western/tech combo they had goin on in it.

firehawk998
firehawk998

I will make a confesion here I bought the game without checking the reviews. Worst mistake ever. Anyways though the game was bad I really feel sorry for the people who got fired. Hope they get a good job and learn the mistakes from damnation.

assassinatur54
assassinatur54

The game sucks, obviously they would get laid off. They're boss or whatever probably wasted 59.99 buying the game, then getting pissed and wondering what the hell his or other companies money went in to.

YoungDab
YoungDab

Yea that game needed a real fix badly.But I understand why it didnt come out as good as it should of.The controls on that game was hell on buttons lol.

Gen007
Gen007

well what did they expect why even release such a bad game

TehEliteElite
TehEliteElite

Sad, but as shroom said, that's capitalism for ya.

Arab-man666
Arab-man666

Hillariously sad. That's what you get when you make the equivilant of an illegitimate retarded freak child of Gears of War and Assassins creed.

shroom76
shroom76

capitalism at its finest.

AshTray1986
AshTray1986

MST3K_Servo, I'm sure if i was 9 I'd find your misspelling of my name funny. I understand they produced the gaming equivalent of a dog-turd, your obviously missing my point, I'm over repeating myself, if you feel nothing for people that are going to face hard times, thats your damage.

Vambran
Vambran

My friend almost talked me into buying this game until i saw the reviews.

MST3K_Servo
MST3K_Servo

@AssTray1986 People getting fired for doing a bad job is not sad at all. When i go into work i do my job because i care about supporting my family and taking care of my payments. If these people cared about keeping their jobs they wouldnt have put out a clearly unfinished game. Is it hilarious? No, but it's not the least bit sad.