Namco Bandai keeping Hellgate open?

Hellgate: London developer Flagship Studios receiving support from Japanese publisher amid job losses and subscriber uncertainty.

Last week, San Francisco-based developer Flagship Studios announced it had not only laid off the majority of its employees, but it also shut down subscriptions for its online action game Hellgate: London. Many suspected that this may be the death knell for the company and its games, but Flagship insisted it was moving forward with the core management and founding team members still in place.

While things continue to look uncertain for the developer created primarily by ex-Blizzard North developers, at least its game looks to be getting support from its international copublisher Namco Bandai. Zack Karlsson, Namco Bandai Games America's senior director of business development, headed to the game's forums to reassure players that the game was still running despite all current subscriptions not being billed. "The game is up, the servers are not going away in the short term and any major changes to status will be communicated in advance."

Karlsson also confirmed that the publisher was still in business negotiations with Flagship Studios, although he didn't reveal any specifics. "I know everyone is looking for an announcement, and we'd love to make one," Karlsson continued, "but right now, many things are in flux and we don't have all the information yet. As soon as we do, we'll post on the forums, on the website, and anywhere else we can find you."

EA Games, who published Hellgate: London in the UK, refused to comment on either the game or its developer when contacted by GameSpot. Namco Bandai could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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