Rumours and half-news are flying. Icarus studios, makers of Fallen Earth, is dead, dying, or at least rather ill. (I won’t make the Icarus/sun-flying pun since everyone else already has.) Thanks to Spinks for sharing this from The Escapist.
The Escapist has learned that North Carolina-based developer Icarus Studios has closed its doors. While a post made on the Fallen Earth forums describes a “restructuring” of the studio, an inside source tells us that the reality is much more severe.
According to marketing manager Jessica Orr, the information from our insider was inaccurate, and Icarus has not closed, though it has undergone severe restructuring.
So it’s the usual mess of “super-seekrit insider says one thing” and “stern and honest-looking company mouthperson says another.” Whom to believe? Time will tell, I guess, though apparently Fallen Earth
“… is actually performing quite well,” said Orr. “[S]ubscriptions are doing well and we are on schedule to release the Blood Sports Patch 1.4 next week (including PvP arenas, clan wars, a new achievements system and a new content area, Deadfall); we are also on schedule for all content patches and development beyond the May 7 patch.”
I should hope they’re developing beyond May 7 — that’s next week.
Pseudo-journalistic cynicism notwithstanding, I really hope Icarus will survive this in one form or another. I had the (misguided?) impression Fallen Earth was one of last year’s little cult-success releases. I tested it in early beta and thought it was a pretty neat game, aside from its FPS-type reticle interface thingy, but I’ve never liked that in any game (and it’s one major reason I don’t play first-person shooters, aside from being generally crap at them). Syp and others have devoted a fair bit of blog space to it, having played it post-release. If I weren’t as MMOnogamously wedded to EQ2 as I currently am, I’d probably be trying FE just for shits and giggles — well, that and its interesting crafting system.
So, whatever is actually going on, I hope that Icarus manages to fly through this turbulence (yeah, I had to) and that whatever number of people lost their jobs find others – as fast as possible. It ain’t much fun working in the MMO industry these last few years, at least not if you’re after any kind of job security.