Flagship castaways form Runic

Hellgate's Seattle studio alums and ex-Mythos devs Travis Baldree and Max Schaefer found new shop focused on action MMOGs.

by

During this year's E3 Media & Business Summit word was widespread that Flagship Studios had shut down. After days of silence, the Hellgate: London studio confirmed that it had indeed given "most employees" the pink slip, but would remain extant as a company.

Now comes word that some of Flagship's castaways have landed a new gig. Over the weekend, several members of the studio's Seattle studio announced they had formed an independent studio, Runic Games. Heading up the studio will be Travis Baldree, director of the forthcoming free online RPG Mythos, and Max Schaefer, a founding member of Flagship and Diablo creator Blizzard North.

In a brief statement posted on the studio's bare-bones Web site, Runic Games' founders announced they "intend to continue to use their expertise in the Action-RPG MMO genre to create the best games in this market." They also promised "announcements about forthcoming projects will be made in the coming days."

Discussion

34 comments
leoleez
leoleez

really i thot of this. just take mythos and rename it and the classes, and poof a game that is already almost presentable

Decardcain
Decardcain

hope to see this game and not be just another rpg mythos :P by the way hellgate london wasnt so bad game just the expectations was very high ...

buckizard
buckizard

I was really looking forward to playing Mythos and hope they pursue it again. I was hugely disappointed when I saw Flagship had shut down and Mythos gone to oblivion. Described as a free-to-play/Diablo-style/MMO really grabbed my interest.

leoleez
leoleez

hazaa! mythos was soo fun when i beta'd it!!! It'll be a fun and exciting game when it pulls through

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Presumably they all tried their best with HG:L, so maybe they should try another type of game, as HG:L didn't demonstrate "their expertise in the Action-RPG MMO genre" as they claim. If Mythos had been a viable way of making money, and hence supporting a studio, then Flagship would surely be using it to prop itself up instead of essentially closing down and claiming bankruptcy.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

In a recent interview, they mentioned they do NOT own the IP rights to Mythos, so don't expect them to release that game. They'll have to start from the beginning. Lets hope they license some stuff this time and actually come up with a better idea then Diablo 2.5.

smashhero
smashhero

I'll have to admit it, Mythos is better than Hellgate. Now that they seperated themself from Flagship, they can focus on releasing Mythos instead of fixing Hellgate. I hope they land on some big publisher to fund for their work. But lets hope it's not EA again. =/

omnifas
omnifas

Just to clarify it for those that don't know, Flagship had 2 different teams one in San Francisco and one in Seattle. The Runic Games Employees are comprised of ex-members of the Flagship Seattle Studios who only worked on Mythos. Any Problems Hellgate had, this team(Runic) had nothing to do with it. FSS SF made the code, FSS Seattle only used it.

Oni
Oni

Good luck to you guys! Hope to see some great games. :)

DukeEdwardI
DukeEdwardI

noxian, you're right. i guess i was just let down because i had such high hopes for HG:L and when it didn't turn out like i was hoping just did the "cool thing to do" and blamed EA (which i still feel is partly responsible). but i guess i always feel bad when devs get blasted for releasing a stinker and people demanding they never make a game again, that's when i kinda toot my "game dev defense horn." i wish no hardship upon developers because they're just trying to do what they love and sometimes lose focus or some other variable comes into play. but of course, there are exceptions to this. sometimes, developers just make a B-A-D game. not your average 7.0-7.5 rated games, but the ones that score less than 5.0 across the board. but hey, no worries, because even tho flagship has disbanded, these guys have found employment doing what they love. hopefully they have learned from the mistakes of HG:L.

Lordofinsight
Lordofinsight

All the best Runic I hope success follows and if you can produce the best RPG - MMO then I am sure that players will be quick to flock to it.

cooldude03
cooldude03

The gaming industry is hard on independent developers best of luck Runic.

noxian
noxian

"while i was saddened by the bad quality of HG:L (due to EA's raping of flagship, forcing them to release a game before it was ready)" y'know its popular to blame the publisher and act like the developers can do no wrong, but its like i said to a question that was posed on a gamasutra article a while back "what makes good developers make bad games?". my response was, "who says they were all good developers". thats not to say Flagship lacks talent as we know what they've done in the past, but what i mean is stop always looking towards someone else as having screwed the dev and acting like there's no way in hell the dev couldn't been wrong. sometimes the dev themselves simply made a lot of mistakes. in this case, Bill Roper himself has come out, and publicly said he and the team behind HG:L made a lot of mistakes. Roper HIMSELF has said that they lacked the game design focus they probably should have had and let themselves go all over the place. He's said himself that he should've done a better job reining in the project and keeping it on track. so while EA may have had some part in it, let's stop pretending the devs are completely without fault.

londonrider
londonrider

Good luck guys. It's much appreciated that you're not giving up!

krazilec
krazilec

Bill Roper is a genius game designer, but honestly he's nothing without the whole Blizzard team.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

These people never did Elozi, these were the Flagship studio associated with Mythos and were on the opposite side of the United States as the Hellgate london crew. These people were doing what was good :) i just hope they are allowed to get mythos up and running again as it was a VERY good game.

elozl
elozl

i hope these guys dont mess up again... you know what i mean!! Good day people!

Pete5506
Pete5506

They are going so far down hill

DryvBy4Ever
DryvBy4Ever

Yeah, cus Hellgate worked so well....I'll never support them again.

Netherscourge
Netherscourge

I wish they would go back to Blizzard and force them to make Diablo 3 more evil looking.

DukeEdwardI
DukeEdwardI

while i was saddened by the bad quality of HG:L (due to EA's raping of flagship, forcing them to release a game before it was ready), i feel bad for these guys. they were laid off and they had to somehow get jobs to afford things like rent, food, fuel, health insurance, etc. you know, the basic needs while living in the US (fuel is only necessary if they drive cars tho, which im sure they probably do). and everybody is wanting them to "get what they deserve for releasing a rotten egg." while i am wary (but will keep track of) their next project, i still hope that they find steady employment doing what they love and not letting some bratty internet kids demand they be fired and have to struggle to make ends meet each month.

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

They are all ex-Blizzard employees who worked on Diablo 2, so I have full faith in these guys. Flagship, Runic and ArenaNet are all made up of people who worked on Diablo 2, so let all the goodness spread!

KayHangman
KayHangman

Mythos, while not my cup of tea, was a pretty great game for an MMO, especially a "free" one, and Travis and team liked to interact and listen to the fans quite a bit. If they take that attitude with them and put it towards a game that's unique, they'll do alright. They just have to avoid all the mistakes of Hg:L. If Mythos is any indication, they can do it. I personally hope they avoid the MMO line and stick with single/multiplayer RPGs. Put something different into the genre and see what comes of it. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of the studio in the years down the road. Who knows, they may just work to develop an IP in the hopes that they'll be bought up by a bigger company.

chancellor28
chancellor28

HG:L is a great game that the company screwed up the release of, i hope whoever buys it fixes it and tosses it on console where it should be.

856891
856891

I think they still suck you either have talent or you dont that F&&king simple

NemesisLives
NemesisLives

I think its time for these guys to call it quits.

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

The cycle never ends. Personally, I'm done with this Diablo-clone crap. I'll just wait it out till D3 comes out.

Doom64
Doom64

So basically after leaving blizzard, they create flagship get layed off from flagship then create yet another company.

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

i hope their new games do better than HG:L