Report: Murdered: Soul Suspect, Dark Void Developer Has Shut Down

[UPDATE] Developer says goodbye.

[UPDATE] Writing on Twitter, Airtight Games thanked fans for their support and said goodbye.

The original story is below.

Murdered: Soul Suspect developer Airtight Games has reportedly shut its doors. Geekwire reports that the independent game studio quietly closed its Redmond, Washington office this week. The move comes less than a month after the release of supernatural thriller Murdered: Soul Suspect for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. You can read reviews for the game here.

Geekwire visited the studio's physical working space and reports that office equipment is being sold off at "heavy discounts." A sign outside the studio indicated that Airtight Games was shutting down. The company cut 14 jobs in April as part of a move that the company described as a "necessary restructuring." At the time, the studio said it was seeking out partners to release future games.

We attempted to reach Airtight Games by email today, but received a "mail delivery failed" message when trying to do so. Geekwire has also been unable to reach the company for comment.

Airtight Games opened in 2004. The studio released Murdered: Soul Suspect and Soul Fjord this year, before that launching Portal designer Kim Swift's puzzle game Quantum Conundrum in 2012. The studio is perhaps best known, however, for its development of 2010 action game Dark Void for publisher Capcom. Swift has since left the company to take a job at Amazon Game Studios.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Murdered: Soul Suspect

Murdered: Soul Suspect

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178 comments
charlievo
charlievo

it's a trend all the companies trying to go consoles and say screw PC gamers are dying left and right.  Look at Crytek for example.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

Doesn't look like this development team really produced anything of note.... Not sure if sad, really.

ECH71
ECH71

For a sec I thought this is sad news, then found out their PC release is hard-coded with WASD controls and no key rebinding is possible.


They got what they deserved.

Adenosine
Adenosine

This is horrible! Lots of game studios are dying left and right for some reason, despite having released some pretty awesome games! Maybe something's wrong when it comes to handling money?

godfather830
godfather830

Very sad. I haven't played it yet, but I'm glad I bought Murdered: Soul Suspects. Looking forward to trying it this weekend.

jamesindigital
jamesindigital

The trend of delighting in the firing of people or the loss of jobs, when you specifically don't like a game, is disturbing. Even more troubling is that it so often happens with titles or studios that attempt to do something slightly different than mainstream releases do. I don't really care if people like this game or not. I don't really care that "it sucks" is all that individuals can be bothered to eke out of their vast vocabularies as their justification for their feelings. Not everyone enjoys the same thing or can articulate themselves. I do care when people say good riddance, or LOL or other inane childish b.s. when jobs are lost. It is not as simple as "finding another job". All the struggles people see in other industries for people finding work is magnified in a specialized industry such as this. These kind of awful comments just further the stereotyping of gamers as ignorant neanderthals. 

PJthePlayer2
PJthePlayer2

Sounds to me like they were banking on Murdered: Soul Suspect and when it flopped that was it for them.  I was planning on getting that game until I saw it's lackluster reviews.  I was thoroughly unimpressed with Dark Void when it launched as well.  Still, it's sad to see any company forced to shut its doors.  I hope they all find work elsewhere.

allever
allever

It's a shame it wasn't EA, Activision, or Ubisoft.

VoidSECT
VoidSECT

That is always sad to hear, regardless of liking their games or not :(

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

That's a shame. It's weird how a company can just disappear from the industry like that.

Best of luck to everyone there in finding new employment.

Cochleadoc
Cochleadoc

When people get laid off because a business is not successful, it's never something we should be happy about.  


All the best to those former employees. 

gottago42
gottago42

Too many crappy games, this should've happen years ago, good bye

fadersdream
fadersdream

I have no sympathy for creators of Dark Void

fadersdream
fadersdream

So a company that made mediocre to bad games has gone out of business?


Sucks to lose a job, but you may not have been very good at your job. Darwinism vs. Sympathy, what is the happy medium? "good luck in your future endeavors"?

Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

Murdered: Soul Suspect had such a quiet release during E3. Followed by tepid reviews. What an odd way to release the game. 

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

story driven games are a fast way to kill a business, story, character lip syncing, acting. it all adds up to something very expensive which might not always be fun.

Romayo83
Romayo83

After playing Murdered this does not surprise me one bit. My guess so they spent too much making this game and it tanked. It's nice seeing small dev companies in the mix, but if your not making anything worth playing then well way she goes.

alaannn
alaannn

didnt know they made quantum conundrum that is a great game hopefully they get bought up 

REDShadowG
REDShadowG

Oh well. I feel sorry for them and those who lost their jobs, one less studio, one less video games source... And being closed right after launching a new IP, that's worrying, its just what the greedy execs are waiting for to make the rate of new IPs coming out even slower...

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

Too bad for the people losing their jobs, other then that; good riddance!

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

dark void?  they shoulda shut down after that mess of a game.

robbiejones
robbiejones

Kinda of lame that they actually wanted $60 for a 6 hour mediocre game, with no replay value. In 2014 you got no chance!!

Caduceus89
Caduceus89

I liked Murdered but it was a mediocre game. No real thought was put into solving cases or defeating demons, the story was conceptually interesting but poorly executed and the characters were thin.

pure_perv
pure_perv

One shitty game too many. Don't let the door hit you on the way out

eternaldragoonx
eternaldragoonx

I actually really enjoyed M:SS I blame the media for this closing.

raikiry
raikiry

Murdered: Soul Suspect was a really bad game, not surprised. :(

thecman25
thecman25

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

Can't say they produced anything I ever cared to play, but it's bad news when a dev folds.  It's also the worst case scenario in that they just put out a game that was a gamble and it failed.  Hopefully the industry doesn't learn the wrong lesson and decide to be even more cautious about making anything new.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

Shame. The Murdered Soul Suspect game is good.

It is a game that has quite a few bugs but not game breaking, the story was interesting and it is not a FPS title, so this is why I was happy with it... Despite it's issues.

In no way was it a typical AAA title and for that I was grateful.

People who say it is rubbish, should really check it out?

You may be pleasantly surprised.


mr_england
mr_england

@ECH71 Yes, they all deserved to lose their income because they used a control scheme you didn't like... Dumbass.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@Adenosine And then you have game publishers like EA prosper... Life's a bitch...

12sisp
12sisp

@jamesindigital 

I don't think the negative comments are directed at the people losing their jobs. It's really more about companies betting the entire bank on one idea especially if it's an unproven market for success. The gaming market can be fickle to certain trends. I think it's foolish for a company to put their entire staff at risk without at least a plan B in case of failure...

thejoymachine
thejoymachine

@PJthePlayer2 Although it IS a flawed game, it is interesting and I've quite enjoyed playing it.  I'd give it a 7 out of 10 (bearing in mind I consider 5 to be mediocre, not the current trend of using it as some sort of starting point by so-called game journalists who desperately need to bleach their noses clean after every E3 and press release).  


The main issue is it tried to add in combat which doesn't suit it, but those sections are mercifully short.  It also has a player controlled camera (take it or leave it) and the flashes between each conversation option can be irritating but you don't talk to many people, what with being dead.  The story and graphics, particularly the in-engine cut-scenes are good and atmospheric, with simple, effective sound, and the characters faces are impressive (especially Abigail, who is pretty interesting in her behaviour), voice-acting is nice too.  A good game, not great, with problems.  I hope Square Enix absorbs the talent within the studio (or other publisher/developers do) as there definitely is some and funding would certainly help.  I also would really like to see another, more polished Murdered game.  Sparks of genius, dragged down by the Triple A industries need for combat and set pieces, but still quite good and worth buying if you like detective noir style games.

Cochleadoc
Cochleadoc

@fadersdream It's the fact that people express giddiness at their failure.  Sure, if you can't cut it, you don't continue working.  But no need to throw rocks at the corpses (not implying you were). 

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@eternaldragoonx If you truly cannot find any glaring flaws in M:SS then you are blinded by bias. The game overall is objectively bad. It's short, has no replay value to speak of, is full of logical fallicies, and countless other problems. Read the gamespot review for a relatively detailed list on what is wrong (and right) with the game.

The funny thing is the media was super excited about this game overall. Even after the demo people were still hoping they'd have time to fix some things. It's sad having to read some of these reviewers thoughts before playing and after playing. People that put this game on #1 wishlist and then you end up giving it a 6/10.

There's a reason they downsized BEFORE the game was released. You don't do that unless you know a s***storm is coming. They knew damn well the product they made was not up to par but they had a release schedule to follow. This is just a case of mismanagement. 

StHapns247
StHapns247

@eternaldragoonx Considering they were downsizing prior to the release of the game I don't think the media had much to do with it. Mediocre reviews of Murdered probably didn't help, but there's evidence to suggest the writing was already on the wall.

raikiry
raikiry

@punksterdaddy I did play it. It had bad design, counter intuitive gameplay, bugs, bad graphics and the story was a "buddy flick". The game was based on solving cases and they way you did that was very weak and simple minded (you had to pick, ex. 3, option from lets say 8, and the order mattered, no it wasn't chronological or anything like that, it was pure random) this is no L.A. Noir. :(

youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

@punksterdaddy I watched a lengthy gameplay video, and the mechanic for having to jump from body to body to avoid those demon things was broken.  The idea for the game was strong but It just doesn't look fun to play.

Popa2caps
Popa2caps

@mr_england @ECH71 They deserved to lose their jobs because they didn't make the consumer happy. This is a business people, acting like a dog got ran over by a car. 

Iostars
Iostars

@12sisp @jamesindigital so... according to you, people shouldn't be creative with video games and stick to cloning tired, crowded genres that admittedly sold millions? You should work for Zynga. Just sayin'...

12sisp
12sisp

@Iostars 

I didn't say what you're implying and if you paid attention to what I was saying you wouldn't make such an inaccurate statement. I said the gaming market can be fickle...so would you put your entire savings into one idea that might work? Common sense teaches us not to put all of our eggs into one basket. I welcome new ideas for games but a company shouldn't put themselves in a "To the Moon or Bust" situation. So I said have a plan "B" just in case the idea fails...comprende?

Popa2caps
Popa2caps

@12sisp @Iostars They should have not gambled with their jobs they way they did. Should have made money then started thinking new idea's. If they where good and had something to offer the "Gaming Business" then they will find new jobs, but i won't feel bad when it's the best thing that could happen.   I will say, i hope they use this as a learning experience.


There's only one way from rock bottom, and that's up!