UPDATED: Molten Games loses funding, lays-off entire staff, cancels Blunderbuss - report
Molten Games, a studio founded last year by former Blizzard and Relic staffers, has reportedly suffered a catastrophic downturn.
UPDATE: Studio investor NC Soft has spoken with GI.biz to assure the site that it did not have anything to do with Molten Games' closure, and that its investment in the team was purely for “financial purposes." The company claims it had no managerial say in the company's affairs.
A rep told the site, “We did not participate in any management, so it's not our place to comment about the state of the business."
Meanwhile, Polygon has heard from anonymous studio sources who claim that the team's debut game - dubbed Project Blunderbuss - received only positive feedback during production, and was on track to launch 2015. It makes the reasoning behind the studio's abrupt closure all the more blurred.
We'll update with new details as they come.
ORIGINAL STORY: According to various reports, the developer has had to lay off its entire workforce.
The news first broke via Gamasutra, which cited an "industry veteran who can confirm he has spoken directly with multiple affected staff".
IGDA San Diego backed up the report, saying it has confirmed that Molten Games "has lost its funding and laid off its employees".
Various Molten staff members have made allusions to the studio's project being cancelled. Art director Billy Ahlswede discusses working on "Project Blunderbuss" in the past tense.
"The project was cancelled but here is the footage of that game as it stands," he said, linking to the first video below.
"Here's what we were working on MoltenGames. Too bad it had to end so soon," technology director Joshua Kriegshauser said on Twitter, linking the second video below. He also referred to the first video in a tweet, adding "You would have loved playing this game."
The lay-offs are also mentioned on the Polycount forums, by posters claiming knowledge of events, stating that "the whole studio is looking for work as of yesterday".
Molten Games was formed in July 2013 and at the time as said to be working on a free-to-play, online triple-A PC title funded through a multi-million dollar investment from NCSoft.
Key personnel included chief product officer Paul Della Bitta, formerly Blizzard’s senior director of global community development and eSport, and VP of creative development Blaine Smith, designer of Pox Nora and Company of Heroes Online.
Neither Molten Games nor NCSoft have responded to the reports as yet, although an NCSoft representative did tell Gamasutra they were not in a position to comment as the publisher is not directly involved in studio management.
There seems to be some hope that the team could get back on its feet if a new source of funding is found.