Rogue Squadron studio succumbs to terminal finances after publishing partner Brash Entertainment's bankruptcy.
Reports have been circulating since late last year that Lair developer Factor 5 was in trouble after the abrupt implosion of Brash Entertainment. Today, the extent of the San Rafael, California-based studio's economic troubles was revealed. CEO Achim Moller confirmed on the company's German Web site that Factor 5's US arm has officially closed.
"We are sorry to announce the closure of the San Rafael-based Factor 5, Inc. studio, but the obstacles created by the sudden bankruptcy of Brash Entertainment for the continuation of operations have turned out too great to overcome in the current economic climate," wrote Moller in succinct statement.
President and cofounder Julian Eggebrecht established the Californian studio of the German developer after the release of Star Wars: Rebel Assault II for the original PlayStation in 1997. The shop was behind the popular Rogue Squadron series for the Nintendo 64 and GameCube consoles, and was considered a second-party Nintendo studio until 2004. In 2005, it began developing exclusively for the PlayStation 3, but it went multiplatform last year as part of its deal with the late Brash.
Despite its San Rafael-based arm's closure, Moller noted that the company's German branch remains in operation and will announce new projects in the coming months.
"Factor 5 GmbH, which has been creating games since 1988 with its headquarters in Cologne, Germany, is entirely unrelated to Factor 5, Inc. and the circumstances surrounding Factor 5 Inc.'s recent challenges," Moller continued. "Although we are saddened by Factor 5 Inc.'s situation, our corporation will remain unaffected by these developments and has partnered with both old and new friends in the industry who will reveal our upcoming projects over the next months."
In December, a former Factor 5 animator detailed the gravity of the company's precarious financial position on his personal blog. The developer said that after returning from an extended leave of absence, he found that employees had not been paid for weeks, thanks to publishing partner Brash Entertainment's bankruptcy. Later that month, reports surfaced that roughly half of the studio's staff had been laid off.
Stuff happens sometimes, companies close doors and designers lose jobs, but the important thing is that the HQ is still standing.
Shame... I have such fond memories of the Rogue Squadron series. I still play them every now and then on the Cube.
I love it when people say "Lair" sucked. Boohoo for you you couldn't handle the learning curve that once over it made it an amazing gaming experience that should have scored 8s and 9s. Face it it got poor reviews because the reviewers were lazy and there has been a significant slant against PS3 games that is just barely starting to disappear. Drakes fortune was truly a 10, yet only got 7s and 8s (most saying because its lack of multiplayer and online. Uhuh because all games should be multiplayer and online right?). Heavenly Sword again should have been given a 10, again 7s and 8s (this time because it was too short, again because the length of a game has such a huge effect on gameplay, and somehow the too short story is still better then the majority of story driven games). Lair's only problem was it tried to present something new and innovative to a generation of gamers that wants to be shovel fed crap games like GTA VI (a game which got 9s and 10s despite the constant glitches the stagnant gameplay, and the drab environment. Saints Row 1and 2 may be clones of the older GTA's but it's obvious they got all the good genes). So please stop putting down an excellent studio that put out an excellent game that reviewers were simply too lazy to learn.
Can you people read teh story before posting your hackneyed R.I.P messages. factor 5 inc. is seperate from factor 5 GMBH. F5 GMBH are the ones that brought us all the games that we liked and will continue to do so for quite some time in my opinion. I do hope that F5 can get the rights to do another RS game (please correct me if they still hold the rights). It was unfortunate the way that Lair came out as it had buckets of potential.
Just as I was hoping to possibly see a Rogue Squadron in some form on the Wii. Imagine the use of the control scheme to pilot an X Wing! Good bye Factor 5, May the Force be with you.
Sad that the PS3 killed the Factor 5 radio star. Lair sucked. We were so pumped for it. But it just bit. It was a great idea, but none of the features seemed finished. They just bit off more than they could chew. They would have been better off making a remake of one of their SW games for the PS3.
Oh no... This is bad fot everyone. I'm remember of the Turrican series (Sega Genesis, Super NES and the "Amiga" system). So as the Rogue Squadron series ("ah, the good old times never dies"). "God bless you guys, and thank you for everything".
Lair wasn't great, but it was fun to look at. The best stuff Factor 5 has produced always originated from the German teams, so today's news isn't especially bad. These guys have some great games left in them, and some spectacular engines to come. All this "r.i.p." nonsense is misinformed.
Lair sucked butt, i owned it... loved the overall LOTR feel to the levels, but the actual gameplay was horrible. Even if you got used to the controls, the levels had ridiculous time limits which kept you from taking your time and having fun destroying every thing in sight. If you wanted to do an elaborate take down animation, you'd be lucky to manage one per mission. too bad they failed with Lair.
Lair could have been really good but it felt rushed. I bet most people who are bashing it never even played it.
Personally, I am very sad to see F5 go away. Lair was an absolutely fabulous game, although I never played the unpatched mess that everyone complained about. I still play Rogue Squadron now adn again, trying to get every gold medal. Hope they find gainful employment.
This is a sad day in the world of video games. I just hope they are remembered for more than just Lair. I know that there is a lot more that goes into it, but I don't see why Nintendo can't just pick up F5 as an official second party. That would please a lot of Wii owners like myself.
I guess Brash was a bad investment um? I have much empathy for the laid off employees. Greedy suits!
TheRealMantera: I know this is the internet, but I don't appreciate your sarcasm. I don't think you understand what mobile detailing is. I don't wash trailers, and I've never lived in a trailerpark or even been to one. I wash things like cars, limos, even airplanes. It's a legitimate business, and one that I'm glad I invested in before everything went all fubar. Now I'm my own boss, and I absolutely love it. Why try to piss on my parade?
intrakitt- it's nice to hear that mobile trailer detailing is booming. always a good economic indicator when trailers/trailerparks etc. do well!
Damn, the Rogue Squadron games were so excellent...really don't know what happened with Lair.RIP to what was once a great dev.
like i have said before. how they run this game dev company's are freak en idiots. oh we just dev games only. well that only works when you getting money to make it otherwise you screwed. it better to be a multi media company doing cgi,game engine etc. not just make one thing
TexasANMGrad: Simply stated, the government shouldn't be bailing anyone out. That's like giving a free pass to all these companies who didn't have the initiative to set up their own backup funds like they should have to begin with. I have my own mobile trailer detailing business here in Las Vegas, NV, and we are honestly largely unaffected by this "economic crisis". I worked my entire first year by myself, with no outside help and no employees of any kind. I sat aside enough funds working my first year to make it possible for me to buy enough chemicals and new equipment to last me another 2 years. Now I have 3 people under me, I get 2 days off a week, and my business is booming. It's not true that business cannot excel in this environment, you just have to know how to push it and get people to buy your product over anyone else's. That means quality, giving the customer more for his buck, and observing trends in the market to further prepare yourself for such things as economic collapse. I won't let the government ever get involved in my business. I would rather run it into the ground.
So if they had stayed working with Nintendo they might possibly still have a job working on another Rouge Squadron? That sounds harsh, but think of the DS games we'd have bought by now.
@ darthogre While it may not be the sole reason for this outcome, it surely didn't help that they tarnished their once credible catalog with that abomination.
Government is bailing out everyone else, why not some of these developers? :) That't too bad though - RS games were really fun.
Not good, another developer gone to the wall, this is bad news for all gamers in general! Rogue squadron for the N64 was a classic, so i'm sorry to hear of this.
So they didn't develop Lair? :-) Why not put that in the title? It's the game that most gamers associate them with.
I like how Gamespot put the title as "Lair Dev".....trying to say that alone put them into bankruptcy.
Hmmm....maybe they shouldn't have left Nintendo's side. At least their games didn't blow when they had them to report to. :|
This economy is seriously killing off some of the better developers of our time. When will it end, sadly...someone uses their talents well.
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