Factor 5 Animator Claims Studio is Cutting Projects, Needs Funding

May 24, 2007
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Casamassina gets an email from an inside source, who's claiming that Factor 5 has completely closed down.

http://kotaku.com/5114990/rumor-factor-5-goes-ker+plop
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.”​
 
Sep 3, 2006
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Slavik81 said:
What? Roque Squadron 1 and 2 were fantastic. Some of the best games on their respective systems.

And the disappointment that was Rogue Squadron 3 was not overlooked, especially by their hardcore fans.
Eh.

Rogue Squadron 2 was the third game I got on my Gamecube...and the first one I traded in.

I found it boring.

Then I got the RS3 demo in Mario Kart DD and saw it was even worse.

Both titles are technically impressive, though.
 

Kilrogg

paid requisite penance
Jan 4, 2007
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We'll definitely have to make a thread listing all the the studios/publishers that either reported considerable loss or fired many people or closed their doors.

Kinda depressing, really, but I guess it's nothing really unexpected, and we can't even say it's not their fault at all :/.
 
Oct 23, 2004
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Judging by that short "tech demo", it looks like their engine had tons of promise, but without any animation to speak of, or characters or anything, we don't really know much about it.

They really pulled off wonders on Gamecube though.
Shame this engine wasn't licensed off.
 
Thats just horrible to happen so close to the holidays

And from a gaming standpoint its a huge loss for Wii owners, they were able to push the Gamecube at launch to a degree that most developers could not do so after years of trying. It is a damn shame they will never get a chance to make something for the Wii (which at the last would have been graphically impressive)
 

JohnTinker

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Sep 14, 2006
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So if these supposed Pilotwings or Kid Icarus projects actually existed at one point or another, could we potentially see some disgruntled ex-employees spilling the beans on these projects or would they still be under NDA even though they no longer work for F5?
 
Sep 5, 2007
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JohnTinker said:
So if these supposed Pilotwings or Kid Icarus projects actually existed at one point or another, could we potentially see some disgruntled ex-employees spilling the beans on these projects or would they still be under NDA even though they no longer work for F5?
I'm one to believe that the project they were working on wasn't Pilotwings or Kid Icarus. It was probably a brand new IP.
 

JohnTinker

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Sep 14, 2006
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bdouble said:
I'm one to believe that the project they were working on wasn't Pilotwings or Kid Icarus. It was probably a brand new IP.
I think so too, but if they actually did work on these projects you'd think someone would've snuck out some concept art or some sort of game asset to show what they'd been working on.
 
May 17, 2008
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JohnTinker said:
So if these supposed Pilotwings or Kid Icarus projects actually existed at one point or another, could we potentially see some disgruntled ex-employees spilling the beans on these projects or would they still be under NDA even though they no longer work for F5?
If these projects were in the works than I would have thought that Nintendo would be paying them to make these . . . meaning they wouldn't be going under.

But to be fair I don't think it was ever stated that Nintendo gave them the Greenlight on their KI pitch.

Oh, and theres tons of supposed KI Wii concept art from the pitch.
 
Jun 5, 2006
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maxmars said:
So basically two developers who were to provide a few "traditional" games for the wii just went under?
"Rumoured to be providing" would be better. Free Radical were possibly looking at bringing TS4 to Wii, and Factor 5 appear to have been developing an engine for the system and may have been pitching projects (including - perhaps - Matt Cassapotato's cherished Kid Icarus)
 
Mar 30, 2007
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God damn that sucks if true.

I just got finished playing through Rogue Squadron III Rebel Strike on GameCube. They pushed that machine farther than anyone else did, including Nintendo, SEGA, NAMCO and RARE.

Lair sucked, but I was looking forward to their Wii project :(



Why doesn't someone like Nintendo or Microsoft just swoop in and buy them up rather than let them go under completely? They have some tremendous talent, they're also more efficient with money than most developers. All they need is a damn bailout. I'm sure a few tens of millions would keep them afloat.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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I still wonder why their Pilotwings GCN was cancelled. Even all the different European distributors were informed about that one (i.e. they knew it existed).
 
Mar 30, 2007
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Shiggy said:
I still wonder why their Pilotwings GCN was cancelled. Even all the different European distributors were informed about that one (i.e. they knew it existed).
Yeah I wonder why too. Pilotwings game was in development, IIRC, around 2003.


I really enjoyed the first game on SNES and the Paradigm-developed Pilotwings 64.
 
Jul 26, 2006
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Shiggy said:
I still wonder why their Pilotwings GCN was cancelled. Even all the different European distributors were informed about that one (i.e. they knew it existed).
Pilotwings isn't Rogue Squadron + Factor 5 is unable to develop something that doesn't play like Rogue Squadron = Pilotwings GCN sucked.
 
Mar 30, 2007
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Operations said:
I don't think Nintendo or MS is willing to give them just a few tens of millions :lol

Actually, I meant, spend that much to buy them up, create a new internal Factor 5 studio. At least they'd be getting payed and be able to make games.
 
Oct 25, 2007
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Rogue Leader was a remarkable piece of programming when it came out on the gamecube. Rebel Strike had some of the best space battles ever but was the harbinger of incomprehensible design decisions that ultimately doomed them with Lair. These guys had major potential really, too bad. Wow, tough sledding out there. Hope these guys land on their feet soon. Hell I'd hire whoever programmed those Rogue Squadron games for GC in second.
 
Mar 30, 2007
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I was so blown away by the Rogue Squadron II teaser and playable tech demo shown at Space World 2000. It proved GameCube was a powerful machine. Been a fan of Factor 5 since. I bought a GameCube for RSII Rogue Leader.

I hope Nintendo, Microsoft or even Sony comes in to salvage the core team, before their all scattered. That would be better than just the lead programmers getting hired (Which they would no matter what anyway).

The Julian Eggebrecht 'eat a broom' remark caused the first GAF mega meltdown thread :lol
 
Mar 2, 2007
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camineet said:
Why doesn't someone like Nintendo or Microsoft just swoop in and buy them up rather than let them go under completely?
I see three possible reasons:
1) There isn't any guarantee that the talents will stay on board on longterm. The only thing they can keep for sure are the IPs.
2) Both are pretty cautious when it comes to acquisitions. I don't know the exact reason of Microsoft, but Nintendo is just big enough to create enough software to dominate the market. Plus, they both prefer funding third party projects (while keep the IPs) than an expensive and difficult to rid of first/second party structure.
3) Well, it's recession. Of course, Buffett said that this time is the best time to invest the money, but you can also lose a stupidly big amount of money in a very short time. There isn't any guarantee that their first party games will sell as good as now in the next year, so more first party studios would cause more problems in the worst case.
 
Mar 30, 2007
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http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21625

December 22, 2008

Report: Factor 5 Officially Closed? New reports suggest that the entire staff at developer Factor 5 has been laid off, after 35 employees were made redundant last week.

Last week Gamasutra was able to confirm that nearly half of the San Rafael, California-based studio's workforce had been let go. The remaining 38 were forced to take pay cuts in order to allow them to remain at the company.

According to a report by IGN’s Matt Casamassina, the entire studio may have been forced to close (subscription required). Reproducing part of an e-mail from an “inside source” at the company, the report suggests that the company has already closed.

"We just learned from inside sources that developer Factor 5 has officially closed their doors as of today," states the e-mail. "That’s some pretty big news considering that those guys have been around for quite a while. It’s definitely a real shame!"

After the critical and commercial failure of Lair, and the reported loss of a three-game contract with Sony, Factor 5’s business was also hit by the troubles surrounding publisher Brash Entertainment.

It is currently unclear what projects the Bay Area developer, best known for the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, was or is working on.
 
Feb 10, 2007
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C.T. said:
Did you even read it? the source is still Matt. Mr. trustworthy...
He does have a good relationship with F5 and always has. Even when they went multi, he was the point of contact. The Matt hate here is sad...not as sad as what's happening to F5, but still sad.
 
Hey, there's always Shin'en!

Shin'en is no doubt comparable to Factor 5, not to mention that Shin'en is in Germany as well.

And these guys only made one non-Nintendo product: a sound engine for N-Gage based on their GBA sound tech.

Shin'en can fill the giant hole made by Factor 5's closing by making a Nanostray/Iridion-like game for Wii retail and using their magic hardware pushing magic.

It's also funny, that BOTH Shin'en and Factor 5 specialize in flight games.

Why Shin'en and Majesco haven't done this yet is beyond me, as Majesco is 100% behind the Wii as we all know.

Shin'en today just released Fun! Fun! Minigolf for WiiWare, seen the graphics of that?
 
Apr 2, 2007
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www.gamers-spirit.de
gabe90 said:
He does have a good relationship with F5 and always has. Even when they went multi, he was the point of contact. The Matt hate here is sad...not as sad as what's happening to F5, but still sad.
My point wasn't that Matt is the source, but that these "news" are non-news, because they just quoting Matt's message board post from two days ago without giving us new information. It doesn't really help to clearify of what's going on at Factor 5. Additionally we should question the source as well, because we don't know anything about the guy sending Matt an e-mail.
 
Jun 28, 2006
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C.T. said:
My point wasn't that Matt is the source, but that these "news" are non-news, because they just quoting Matt's message board post from two days ago without giving us new information. It doesn't really help to clearify of what's going on at Factor 5. Additionally we should question the source as well, because we don't know anything about the guy sending Matt an e-mail.
True.

And I feel very sad for F5 and specially Eggebrecht. I got the opportunity to chat with him and it was a pretty interesting discussion about the Wii and Nintendos hardware. I like his industry vision, too

:(
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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C.T. said:
My point wasn't that Matt is the source, but that these "news" are non-news, because they just quoting Matt's message board post from two days ago without giving us new information. It doesn't really help to clearify of what's going on at Factor 5. Additionally we should question the source as well, because we don't know anything about the guy sending Matt an e-mail.
I agree that it's silly to post blogs quoting Matt and providing new information, but this is definitely 100% true. Don't you think someone from F5, least of all Julian, would have sent a simple "This is not true. An announcement will be made shortly." message? The fact that he hasn't confirms that the announcement is true.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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I agree that it's silly to post blogs quoting Matt and providing new information, but this is definitely 100% true. Don't you think someone from F5, least of all Julian, would have sent a simple "This is not true. An announcement will be made shortly." message? The fact that he hasn't confirms that the announcement is true.
Hopefully some last minute plans are being worked on to save them, but at this point it seems unlikely. I was really looking forward to seeing their Wii project. :(
 
Nov 19, 2007
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jrricky said:
depends on what doing 'good' is the context of knowing how much money went into those games too. Oh and heavenly sword wasnt good either.

a sad thing when a company goes out though, but betting on the wrong horse was a factor in them surviving or not.
kai says shut your filthy mouth
 
Jun 14, 2006
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gabe90 said:
He does have a good relationship with F5 and always has. Even when they went multi, he was the point of contact. The Matt hate here is sad...not as sad as what's happening to F5, but still sad.
Exactly. First thing I thought when I saw the source was crap. Who has better contacts with Factor 5 than Matt C? If he's reporting this, it's as good as true.