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Factor 5 Goes Ker-plop

Kotaku Writes:
Earlier we posted rumors that Factor 5 laid off half its staff. Now comes word the whole studio just closed. I guess everyone's answer to the economy is just to give up.

This one still gets the rumor tag because there's no name on the source. But says IGN's Matt Casamassina over on their boards (subscription required):

(Casamassina) [I w]as hoping the rumors weren't true. Contacted Julian over at F5 to shed some light, but he didn't get back to me. Got an e-mail from an inside source tonight:

"Hi Matt,

How have you been? Haven't seen you guys since E3. I hope that you're doing well!

[Redacted] wanted me to contact you with some late breaking news. We just learned from inside sources that developer Factor 5 has officially closed their doors as of today. That's some pretty big news considering that those guys have been around for quite a while. It's definitely a real shame! I hope that this information is helpful to you. Take care, and please say hi to Bozon for me."

And another one bites the dust. Since everyone's strategy is to fire their way back to full health, may I make a simple request? Please adjust the fiscal quarters ahead by one month. Like daylight savings time for Wall Street or something. That way, 500,000 people won't be getting fired right before Christmas, they can get pink slipped in January and not have their holidays ruined. At least give us that.

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TheColbertinator3804d ago

I thought Sony owned Factor 5.Thats a shame.Even though I hated Lair,I enjoyed Rogue Squadron on the Gamecube

Grassroots3803d ago

Nope, they just published their last game.

ChickeyCantor3803d ago

Seriously, openzone?
Explain yourself Steven.

TheColbertinator3803d ago

I love the Open Zone.Its the circus of n4g and I always pull up a chair and enjoy the show

:)

ChickeyCantor3803d ago

But i hate clowns =(

I guess you are right.
Thank n4g, for this circus is free!

tomfoolery3803d ago (Edited 3803d ago )

The 360 is "THE" choice this gen,and the Wii Wii 2nd.

PS3 is a complete waste of space this gen.
Good luck next gen Sony,
that is if your share holders don't pull the plug on your stupid
Gaystation franchise.

ChickeyCantor3803d ago

"and the Wii Wii 2nd"
Interesting, you said Wii twice.
O i get it, gosh your joke is brilliant.
I take you went to harvard, or oxford?!

GiantEnemyLobster3803d ago

First Free Radical with Haze, now Factor 5 with Lair. Jeez PS3, quit killing all the good developers!

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3803d ago
Grassroots3804d ago

This is not a good week, look Haze and Lair were weak yes. I was still looking forward for them to make future titles that can redeem themselves. I was hoping for that Kid Icarus for sure, man. It's interesting how game sales are at the highest point ever even in the recession, and this is sadly happening.

ChampIDC3803d ago

FYI, Haze was Free Radical.

But on topic, it's a shame to see them falling apart. I really liked some of their older games, like the Rogue Squadron series and Super Turrican.

Bnet3433803d ago

Lair + Haze really phucked up. I'm not surprised to see these two companies go down. Haze should of been multiplatform like it was going to be. I mean seriously Xbox 360 has the shooter crowd why would you ignore that? They would of faired better. Oh well.

Grassroots3803d ago

I know HAZE is FRD, I was just relating the two since it happened within days of each other.

TOO PAWNED3803d ago

I just wonder why didnt Sony try to acquire them? I bet they could have done it for "small" amount of money. Same with Free Radical. Really bizzare. I guess publisher, due to global economic crysis are scared to invest atm.

Elven63803d ago

Considering the layoffs at Sony that would have been unthinkable, not only to the bean counters but imagine how the 10k+ who are being layed of in the coming weeks would feel if they get laid off and wake up next morning with their RSS readers front headline saying "Sony Acquires Studio X in million dollar deal".

cherrypie3803d ago

With White Knight Chronicles getting a horrible 29/40 from Famitsu -- the lowest JRPG rating of the Generation(!) -- lets hope White Knight Chronicles's failure doesnt collapse Factor 5 too.

DeforMAKulizer3803d ago

Ummm... White Knight is Level 5 not Factor 5... You got mixed up...

pixelsword3803d ago

...posting the same rumors about Free Radical, which Free Radical refuted.

Kinda makes me think Factor 5 is not closing, considering the source of this low-quality blog pretending to be a website.

Going to kotaku for facts is like going to George Bush for wisdom

...meh, but you never know.

But kotaku still stinks.

gaffyh3803d ago

What the hell type of title is this??? Are Kotaku a professional gaming news website?

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 3803d ago
PS360PCROCKS3803d ago (Edited 3803d ago )

They made Lair right? If so, no wonder they closed, that was a TERRIBLE game. I tried the demo, it was so boring, bland and retarded I couldn't stand it. But I feel bad for these guys, that's truly terrible.

Daver3803d ago

Lair was an awesome game

ChickeyCantor3803d ago

Do not judge a Dev by one game.
That's just lame.
They have made better games than Lair.

(also there was no need to bring that up, you know you opened the "flaming" gate)

OT:
It kinda feels weird, to know that these studio's close.
I was really looking forwards to their next games ... =/...
This sucks.

Dark General3803d ago

Wait, wait, wait. There was a demo of Lair? Why was i not privy to this information?

jmiol-on-psn3803d ago

PS360WiiRocks were did you get the Lair demo from? i never play the demo....

r2kcipher3803d ago

you can grab it off the hong kong ps store. the demo came out right before the control patch.

PS360PCROCKS3802d ago

I'm not judging Factor 5's talent by that game, merely stating that it was a terrible game and sold just as awful so doesn't really help their profit margin with a game that expensive that bombed so badly. Also, yeah I got it off the PS store, hong kong

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3802d ago
outlawlife3803d ago

looking at their back catalog of games it is really surprising they came this far

they don't seem to have ever developed anything really special

LeonSKennedy4Life3803d ago

http://www.metacritic.com/g...

That was one of the best games on the Gamecube.

Did you even LOOK at their back catalog?

Cheeseknight283803d ago

They made all 4 Star Wars flight simulator games on the N64/GCN, which were all were amazing games.

Like LeonSKennedy4Life said, did you even look at what they did?

LeonSKennedy4Life3803d ago

I got 11 disagrees for that?

Why?

Yeah...and thanks for backing that up. That series was incredible!

outlawlife3803d ago

actually i did look at their back catalog and i saw they developed those game, but unfortunately gamecube sales don't save a company today

those games aren't even in the top 10 best selling for gamecube which means that probably barely sold a million...if that

the game business is tough and you gotta make hits to succeed, making a hit 7 years ago on a rather unsuccessful console by comparison doesn't do much for today

people on here don't realize that developers can't pull money from thin air, it has to come from somewhere

they made a game like lair which turned out to be not so special and it is hard to pull in investors when you can't show success within the last 5 years

i'm by no means saying they aren't talented people but the fact is they just weren't competing, many other studios will meet the same fate and you probably won't see anything about them on n4g because they won't be able to get 1 game out

by industry standards these guys had a good run for being an independent house

disagree if you wish but that is reality

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Voiceofreason3803d ago

Another company taken out by high development cost and low sales of PS3 games..

divideby03803d ago

If you read anything besides video gamming sites, you may comprehend that we are in bad economic times...dugh

mcm3803d ago

?What?
You're kidding right? Next you will tell us that it is the PS3 fault that gas prices were high and it is the reason why the American dollar is **it. Just admit that there are too many developers out there and now when development costs rise the bad are weeded out. Just because they made a good game in the past doesn't mean much. Pac Man was a excellent game in it's time, but you don't see Namco fans using that as an excuse for failures like Death by Degrees and Breakdown. No they failed and went on to create more AAA titles like Tekken 5 and Soul Calibur 4 as well as a couple of puzzle games and RPGs.

Factor 5 tanked because they couldn't keep up plain and simple. They chose to develop games for the PS3 knowing that there was real competition. I wouldn't want my games competing for sales against MGS,GT Prologue and other AAA titles. They should had followed Nintendo's game plan and went on a smaller budget this gen. They could even have made exclusive PSN games and reaped the benefits of small developing cost and reaching a larger audience, but no they wanted to play with the big fish.
The smaller companies will die away and less risk will be taken when developing games. This is a good thing because how many people have bought a crappy game in the past? With high developing cost these crappy games will decrease because developers won't take that risk.

Those developers with true talent will continue to make great games and expand the market, which is the way it should be.

dcbronco3803d ago

Companies that thought they were being smart and supported the PS3 exclusively early are going under. Companies like Square were smart enough to see the pitfalls and go multi-platform to keep from taking the type of financial hit that killed Factor 5 and Free Radical. Those two companies aren't the first and won't be the last to be killed off by PS3 exclusivity. PS3 fanboys should do less posting against the 360 and buy more games. And some Blu-ray too. No matter how they list them in the monthly totals, games given away with the console are not making money for anyone. And too often the sales numbers companies brag about include a lot of giveaways. Especially during the early days of the PS3.

sak5003803d ago

Hahah look at them protecting their precious console. Voice is right, it was devs being fooled by sony into making a game exclusive for the Bluray player, the sales couldn't even cover the cost of the media it was printed on.

Sad but now they will think long and hard over which platform to support if they ever try to make games again.

We'll wait and see whether GG will survive once the KZ2 sales tank as well.

psycho3603803d ago

@divideby0

"If you read anything besides video gamming sites, you may comprehend that we are in bad economic times...dugh "

Lair was released mid last year. The economic situation turned bad just few months back. You're logic is same as your name.

twoface3803d ago

Is there 0 development cost on xbox360? Would it miraculously become a much better game and sell much better if it became multi-platform?
Finding all sorts of excuses to bash ps3 exclusivity is just plain pathetic

Cenobia3803d ago

That's a really stupid argument. Are you saying it's the PS3's fault (or the consumers of the console) that people didn't buy FRs or Level 5's games? Did you ever think the games may have had poor sales because they weren't all that great?

I don't understand your arguments. Do you honestly think Haze and Lair would have sold well on the 360? That's like admitting 360 owners will buy anything. Are you all mindless consumer whores? I doubt it. If the game's bad you aren't going to buy it.

What about Too Human? 10 years in the making and I'm pretty sure the devs found sales pretty disappointing. The sales weren't bad because it was exclusive, or on the 360. They were bad because the game was bad. You should buy it anyway though, so the developer doesn't go under... That's not how capitalism works.

Sevir043803d ago

and it's also fair to note that while Factor 5 created Lair and it tanked in teh US it still sold pretty well elsewhere with it's bulk of it's sales coming from EU/UK/PAL territories. Thirdly The IP was completely funded and owned By Sony Computer Entertainment, They poured in the cash to fund development and commissioned Factor 5 who has a reasonable track record to build the IP. So they didn't fail because the game Sony commissioned them to do Failed You fankids are hilarious.

It's a simple thing as Cash Flow and finance management. in these economic times of disaster failure to plan your finances and proper management of cash flow will result in deficits that are crippling to a company, No one knows the cut off point to make a profit on a High budget title and how many units it needs to sell, and for the looks of it for Sony. any game that sells over 500K has already made a profit which is why they get Golden awards from Sony them self. and lair Sold well over 500K , in fact They made enough for Sony to have commission the second game in the series, while they started other projects for Nintendo's Wii. which was reported a early january or feb this year.

The simple fact is every company is forced to cut back, lower forecast on earnings and layoffs due to the recession, we all work in a world where our jobs arent promised be be here for us if and when we wake up the next day. No one knows what the head honchos at the top of the buisness food chain is facing with there primary finances.

It's teh reason Sony the company, Not SCE but just Sony outside of the games division Layoff 8,000 workers, and lower fiscal year forcasts on earning, why MS closed out Ensemble studios, Why EA put black box to the chopping bloxs and re allocated them to another studio, and why they also laid off workers.

the recession is hitting every big company and small ones alike, if it's happening to the biggest publishing giant in the video game industry which is EA, what makes you think a small indie studios like Free rad and Factor 5 are immune because of one game tanking? please use your heads and get off the Sony bashing band wagon. this is a time of economic crisis the big guys and the little guy are affected.

shysun3803d ago

So EA,Kanami and Activion lied about making more money off of PS3 that any other console?

dantesparda3802d ago (Edited 3802d ago )

Just look at the Sony Attack Force 360 fanboys attack away. Look at you scumbags loving it that companies are going under because dared not back/support your beloved master system, the 360. Cuz those two companies chose to make their games exclusive to the PS3 and thereby you people taking that as a insult, so therefore loving the fact this is happening to them. You people are both douchebags and pathetic!

And how come i dont hear the 360 fanboys complain about the companies that make exclusives games for the 360? How come they dont come on here and spew their sh!t and say, "but they could be making more money if they also released it on the PS3 and Wii?". I'll tell you why, its because they are fanboys, plain, pure and simple. And haters, and god forbid they do anything remotely seen as anti-MS

And how come i never hear anything by the media about how MS is down almost 50% from last year? Dont think so? just look at their stock price, it closed down at $19.12 on Friday and was $36.72 a year ago. How come we dont hear a peep about that from the media. Hmmmmmmm

dcbronco3802d ago

First things first, Too Human was not in development for ten years. The concept was developed ten years ago. They didn't feel there was a system with the ability to do what they had in mind until this generation.

Now, do I believe the PS3 killed those studios. In a way yes. All of the people who like to blame everything on the economy are off. Some companies are suffering because of the economy, some are just bad companies. I read a post where compared Sony's and Microsoft's restating of their estimates in the same light last quarter. That's a joke. The 1% percent change for Microsoft was because of the economy, the 57% change for Sony was poor management.

When it comes to F5 and FR, while both companies made bad games, the added expense of being new developers on a new console was so high that they could not recover from it. When you have to spend 20-25 million for a PS3 game in the beginning of the PS3 cycle as opposed to 10-15 million for a 360 game, there's little room for error. With most game companies needing credit lines and VC to be able to make a game in the first place, you need to at least come close to breaking even. Lair sold 380,000 copies. It should have made over 15 million and at least come close to covering expenses. On the 360, that would have been the case. On the PS3, those same games cost 10 million more to make in the early days when there was so much still being learned on the new architecture. They are still higher on the PS3, but as programmers learn the system, they have come down. But the PS3 will always cost more to make games for it.

And that's why small companies should never have been making games solely for the PS3 and should never have used it as the lead platform.
Companies as big as EA seldom use the PS3 as lead. L5 and FR were fools for doing it. Ninja Theory learned that lesson the hard way too. They all bet that Sony's hype was real and that they would be one of the first at the table for the feast. Instead, they food never arrived and they starved.

@Sevir04

The economy is not to blame for everything. Microsoft closed Ensemble because they are taking a different approach to development. They are in the process of starting a new in-house studio now, check the ads on Gamasutra, Microsoft's hiring a lot of people. If L5 got all of their financing from Sony, they should have made a helluva profit for their effort. Somebody better check the excutive officer's bank accounts. There's some money missing. Sony usually never helps developers, they always felt their install base was all the incentive people needed to develop for a PS, things have changed. Unfortunately, L5 and FR found out too late.

@shysun

I don't know about lied. But there is some fuzzy math going on. Or it could be as simple as development cost. Since most of the games are developed on the 360, all of that expense is charged to the 360. The PS3 only gets charged with the porting expense. That's the only thing I can think of, because I can't think of one game that outsold the 360 version from any of those companies. Call of Duty sold a lot more on the 360. So did all of EAs titles. Accounting is one of the most dishonest businesses there are so you can't ever believe the numbers.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3802d ago