After the wake of Argonaut Games' financial collapse, Argonaut and its subsidiaries, including Morpheme and Just Add Monsters (JAM), were forced into bankruptcy proceedings. The companies seemed doomed. But since those dark days, the directors of JAM and Argonaut founder Jez San decided to bring JAM back from the brink. While details are scant as to how such wheelings and dealings work, the developer has been rechristened Ninja Theory. The company now maintains a staff of 23 and hopes to return to its independent roots.
In a statement to GameSpot, Ninja Theory chief designer Tameem Antoniades explained, "There have been lots of rumors, so Id like the chance to put some perspective back into the matter. Jez helped finance the purchase of the business (assets, employee liabilities, & IP) with Nina Kristensen, chief developer; Mike Ball, chief technology; and myself so that we could set up a new company called Ninja Theory and continue working on Heavenly Sword.
"We are all joint owners at this point, with Nina, Mike and I running the business as directors, and Jez acting as an investor in a nonexecutive role.
"It was a dire situation, and our priority was to secure the jobs of our team and not let the work done so far go to waste."
Heavenly Sword, the title that proved to be the glue that kept the team together through these tough times, is currently in development for next-generation consoles. "We still have no publisher, but [we've encountered] plenty of interest [in the title]," Antoniades added. The action title uses in-house technology and has been in development since early 2003.
Kristensen said in a statement: "We have gone through hell tackling the creative, technological, and business challenges of next-gen game development. But weve come out of the worst intact, and it feels great to be a truly independent company once again."
JAM's previous effort was Kung Fu Chaos for the Xbox.