Troika closes

After months of rumors, the end finally comes for the independent PC RPG developer.

Following nearly two months of rumors that it was in trouble, Troika Games has apparently closed its doors for good. In an e-mail sent out this morning to numerous sites (including GameSpot), joint-CEO and founder Leon Boyarsky finally gave the announcement he had promised would come before the end of the month.

"As many of you may have already heard, Troika has laid off all of its employees and is closing its doors due to our inability to secure funding for future projects," read the e-mail. The e-mail continued on a grateful note. "We want to thank all of our fans for their support these past seven years. It has really meant a lot to us that there were people out there who enjoyed our games enough to create fan-sites and follow our progress as a company." The e-mail then concluded by further thanking Troika's now-scattered employees.

Though Boyarsky was the sender of the e-mail, it was cosigned by Tim Cain and Jason Anderson. The three designers were at the forefront of the creative team behind the now-legendary postapocalyptic role-playing game Fallout at the once-mighty developer-publisher Interplay (which, by many accounts, is on the verge of becoming defunct itself).

In 1998, Cain, Anderson, and Boyarsky broke away from Interplay before the release of Fallout 2 to form Troika, an independent, RPG-centric studio. Ironically, the company only produced a trio of games: 2001's fantasy title Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura; 2003's adaptation of the classic Dungeons and Dragon module, The Temple of Elemental Evil; and 2004's first-person shooter/RPG hybrid, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

Unfortunately, none of Troika's games were successful enough to keep the studio financially afloat. It had briefly developed a postapocalyptic role-playing game that it eventually pitched to Interplay as a potential Fallout 3. However, when Bethesda Softworks acquired the Fallout license last year, the game was put on hold.

Though fatalistic in tone, Boyarsky's e-mail would not rule out the possibility of a resurrected Troika in the future. "We have not yet made the decision as to whether Troika Games as an entity will regroup and pursue future projects or simply cease to exist," it read. As for Troika's employees, a recent forum post by Bloodlines lead programmer Andrew Meggs said many had joined other developers, including Day One Studios, Mythic Entertainment, Point of View, Swingin' Ape, Turtle Rock, Treyarch, and another studio created by Interplay castaways, Obsidian Entertainment.

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18 comments
Nodashi
Nodashi

That is incredibly sad. I hope someone buys the Arcanum IP and develop the franchise tough.

mrklorox
mrklorox

Still brings a tear to my eye every time I think about what games could have been. On the plus side Arcanum is finally available on GOG. No more overpriced ebay copies!

PhoenicianSon
PhoenicianSon

It is like the D&D curse, every gaming entity that has touched this IP has at some point in the future, gone under. It really stinks that something like this has to happen, especially to companies like this one that have been around for 7 years. I have not played the pen and pencil D&D game since I was 12, but I still, faithfully, purchase all releases of all D&D games that come out for the computer, since SSI released Pool of Radiance for the Commodore64, I have been a dedicated fan. I am actually playing ToEE on my Envy13 as we speak, and while hunting for patches, I saw this release. I know I am ages in computer years late, but I stll hate to see good companies fall. I know that Atari has picked up the publishing stick for this IP, I hope that one of its Developers will carry light the stick and carry the torch for us D&D computer fans. I have a phenomenal idea for D&D pen and paper game translated for PC play, and I have the business skills to make it happen, just not the time at the moment or the technological software development knowledge to make it happen.

alixkid
alixkid

Very Sad day, Such a good company that produced some great games. I hope one day we can play them once again.

Ztratos
Ztratos

This is just sad. I know that i'm a bit late for this comment. But i'm sure, that i saw a game, just a year back or so, that the troika team was going to make a new game together. But could also being me who was drunk at the moment. I love almost all the Troika games, spe Arcanum. That's one wonderful game, with a great story, and loads of quests/skills/ stuff to do. With some fun add on, one can increase to a much higher lvl and so on. Anyway, i wish they would've published a Arcanum 2. That would be like, orgasmic. Anyway, almost feel the tears fall when i think of the Troika retirement. Sad thing that these great designers/developers had to quit. In Troika We Trusted!

mrklorox
mrklorox

Horrible shame. I'm playing through Arcanum again. Excellent game, as was VTMB. Couldn't get into ToEE, but then again I'm not really much of a fan of classic style fantasy games or D&D. Too bad Troika's publishers never spent much on QA as these games were all buggy as hell. I can imagine Arcanum being much bigger with more options and a better combat system if they had the time. It also sucks that they had to wait for Valve to release HL2 before Troika could release VTMB... though in the time they waited they could have done more polishing. Regardless, all three primary designers are still working in the industry. I hope these guys get another chance to work together under new management and proper funding. Troika's games were second to none.

usmcjdk6
usmcjdk6

It's common knowledge that Troika games had a history of getting screwed consistantly, and Vampires: Bloodlines as the breaking point for them. The 1.2 release of the game was an utter genius of a game. It is a pathetic shame they fell apart. Vampires: Bloodlines was revolutionary, and awesome. it's story and gameplay really make Mass Effect seem simple, at best. I hate to imagine would they could have done given today's technology...

gadzilla108
gadzilla108

Arcanum 2 needs to be made asap, i don't think i'd mind if someone just updated arcanum's graphics and fixed some bugs... maybe add a few quests.. it would satisfy me for a loooong time, seeing as how im still playing arcanum now

WulfenMortys
WulfenMortys

It really was a tragedy for the gaming community when Troika closed. They always excelled not only as creative minds, but as writers, visionaries - people who tried what others were too afraid of. They left their mark on all of us, I'm sure.

BOERGOE
BOERGOE

Damm that sucks we shall miss Troikas great games

SinfulSpikey
SinfulSpikey

It saddens me even to this day to see news of Troika's closing. I never recieved the chance to play their games while they still existed. Sigh, no, I only got into Vampire: Bloodlines about a year and a half afterwards. It still holds up as the best FPS/RPG I've ever had the chance to play, surpassing Deus Ex by leaps and bounds. And then one of my best friends introduced me to Arcanum and I was simply in love. **** Baldur's Gate and Diablo, this is was a freaking RPG. And who could forget the Fallout franchise? I'm not sure there's anything I can say about it that hasn't already been said, though I cam quite happy to know that that at least wont be left dead. Maybe it gives some hope for Arcanum 2...

haha88
haha88

Among all rpgs i played, i think their's is still the best. Although complicated, but this is what makes them kickass. I totally agree with Arkon540 on his view. Arcanum (my favorite rpg of all time), the character building is just superb idea, far better then any rpg i've seen/play. I was really looking forward for Arcanum 2 but... If I'm not wrong, I think I once read an article about the founders of Torika said that they will eventually "regroup", I really hope so... I hope they read about the comments we wrote, positive or negative doesnt really matter. Positive ones will motivate them, negative ones will make them improve. And eventually make a come back and become best of the best. Goodluck, Torika.

Arkon540
Arkon540

It's a shame that the companies that make the greatest games always fail because of such a small fanbase. Crappy games like Halo rake in the cash because the majority of gamers either can't understand or don't want to understand anything more complicated than Halo. It saddens me to think that it will always be this way, and will just keep getting worse as gaming standards hit rock bottom... because the "casual gamer" will still buy crap. Whether you say their games were good or not, Troika was one of the last hopes we had for Computer RPGs in the vein of Fallout and Arcanum. All we really have now is yard-sale hopping and torrents, searching for the gems of the past. I guess I could always go get addicted to a MMO instead.

september_basic
september_basic

Troika deserved this closedown of their company. No one who codes a final retail version of a game that includes dialogue written by the drug stupored should be permitted a job in the design business. It's only obvious that most of this game was written in the month or two before release.

Jamaipanese
Jamaipanese

just dug up and starting to try and play ToEE again, when i first got it it was almost imposible to play

acesion
acesion

Thier games including fallout 1 and 2 did suffer from QA issues which i believe was thier enevidable downfall. I will say that thier games were Great and imaginative which i believe bushed the boundries of of D&D RPG'ing but I have come to notice that many of thier games if not all were released incomplete. The easiest example is Temple of elemental evil which has the best Gamplay style of all the D&D computer games, but just to install the game i had to rip it then mount it on a fake drive to install otherwise id get a stupid error and this happend with different copies of the game on different computer systems. I love thier game but they just rushed thier games and shiped them incomplete. I hope that there style of making games continues but is fallowed up with some good Quality Assurance because In reality thier games run like alpha tests rather then betas.

Emperor_Paul
Emperor_Paul

I havent played any of thier games excpet Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and once beating it i cannot see how they could close their doors, it was the best RPG game i have played in a long time, it did have some stability issues but once i upgraded to a Gig of Ram it ran smooth. Hope they reopen and make more kick ass RPG's!

BlackCanopus
BlackCanopus

I am adding this comment a long time after I heard the news, and even now, I feel sorry. Troika made impressive open end games (Fallout and Fallout 2 were made by Torika key members), Arcanum (my most favourite isometric RPG), Temple of Elemental Evil and Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines, and I loved all of them. I am not sure if Troika will open its doors ever again, but I hope those guys don't give up, and continue making great games. I think it is impossible, but I would like to play Arcanum 2. Toika may be dead now, but still lives in my most favourite RPG memories. And I will never forget the first time I met Virgil, after that terrible crash-landing of Zephyr Zeppelin, on our way to Tarrant. Good luck, Torika.