Report: Stormfront shutting down

San Rafael-based developer of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Blood Wake said to be closing due to economic hardships.

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After roughly two decades in business, the development house behind the 1991 Neverwinter Nights, Blood Wake, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is shutting down.

Earlier today, industry trade site Gamasutra cited multiple unnamed sources in reporting that the San Rafeal, California-based studio is in the process of halting operations. That report was then confirmed with a representative of the development house by Next Gen.

"Frankly, we didn't get pitched, and the project [we were working on] made no revenue," the representative told the trade site, adding, "The economy is such that the projects that we weren't winning, ended."

Although Stormfront's portfolio of games spanned numerous genres, it returned time and again to fantasy worlds of swords and sorcery. The studio's participation in the genre includes the original 1991 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter Nights game for the PC, an early online role-playing game for which it earned an Emmy earlier this year. (A 2002 version of Neverwinter Nights was developed by BioWare, with a 2006 sequel developed by Obsidian Entertainment.)

Stormfront would return to the Dungeons & Dragons brand again with Al Qadim: The Genie's Curse (1994), Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001), and Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (2004). It also earned a name for itself making games based on feature films such as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Eragon, and its last game, the February release The Spiderwick Chronicles.

The company also had a history of sports games, having created installments of NASCAR and Madden for Electronic Arts, as well as the Tony LaRussa baseball series. Though that series may have died, LaRussa kept his ties to the studio in the form of a seat on Stormfront's board of directors.

GameSpot's inquiries have gone unreturned by Stormfront as of this writing.

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