Factor 5 torpedoed by Brash?

Source: A Google cached blog post by a former Factor 5 animator. What we heard: In November, onetime cash-flush publisher Brash Entertainment imploded. The production house, cofounded by Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull in March 2007 and backed by a cool $400 million in funding, came to its...

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Source: A Google cached blog post by a former Factor 5 animator.

What we heard: In November, onetime cash-flush publisher Brash Entertainment imploded. The production house, cofounded by Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull in March 2007 and backed by a cool $400 million in funding, came to its epic conclusion following a string of less than accomplished film-to-game tie-ins, including Space Chimps, Jumper, and Alvin and the Chimpmunks.

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Brash's abrupt closure has apparently caused unanticipated ripples, most notably for Lair developer Factor 5. In March, Factor 5 announced it would be teaming with Brash on an unannounced title, one that was later reported to be based on the DC Comics hero Superman. However, it appears that project has now hit the skids due to a lack of funding, and in the process delivered a debilitating blow to its developer, if a blog post by former Factor 5 animator Sam Baker is to be believed.

First spotted by 1up, the now-deleted blog post (which is viewable via Google Cache) describes how Baker returned from time off to find that no one at Factor 5 had been paid in a month. "Regardless of the financial issues of the company (which I won't elaborate on), we all stayed and continued to work," reads the original post. "If we left, there would have been no hope in F5 staying afloat. We had faith in the projects and the company, so there was no reason to bail just yet. At this time it didn't seem like much more than bad timing and bad luck."

Baker then went on to describe how the situation became progressively worse, as Factor 5 employees first lost their health care, and then were forced to discontinue work on the unannounced title. "Without proper funding on the project I was working on, the company was forced to stop production," he said. The situation then turned dire, when "the president of the company [Julian Eggebrecht] basically told us that if we didn't receive funding in 1 week, all of us should move on and look elsewhere for another job."

Shortly after the online media seized upon his report, Baker quickly deleted his post, replacing it with a follow-up that said, "Steve Watts of 1UP wrote that I said Factor 5 cut one of their main projects, a comic book superhero game, and that's incorrect. It was a big story in the news that we recently lost a publisher, Brash Entertainment, when they went out of business. This does not mean that we've stopped production on that game, or that it was ever even in trouble. The other projects currently under way at Factor 5 are doing great. We hadn't received payment because of the situation with Brash, which is why I said I needed to look elsewhere for work."

The official story: Requests for comment sent to Factor 5 had not been returned as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Baker's backpedaling notwithstanding, it seems clear that Brash's exit has roiled Factor 5's economic situation. However, it's worth noting that the studio had more than just Brash's bun in the oven, with Baker's resume calling out at least two other unannounced titles in development.

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