Stargate Worlds Developer Running Out Of Money

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Stargate Worlds Developer Running Out Of Money

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What do you do if you're a start-up MMOG developer who hasn't been paid in almost a month? Make a web site and tell the world!

It turns out that employees at Stargate Worlds developer Cheyenne Mountain haven't been paid in well over three weeks, a situation first uncovered by Gamasutra after 22 days of no pay. The studio had appeared to be doing fairly well for itself, working on both the Stargate release as well as another unannounced online game, and in April had formed its own publishing arm to handle the two games. But Cheyenne Mountain PR guy Kevin Balentine claimed that the rough economic climate was taking its toll.

"At Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, we have always been upfront with the media and our fans that we are a start-up. Like many start ups, we face the same cash-flow issues that all pre-revenue companies face," he said. The company's "core investors" are still hanging in, he added, "but the new economic realities are forcing us to seek out additional sources of funding, and that's what we're doing."

Long stretches with no pay can be very tough on employees, particularly at this time of year, but so far the team at Cheyenne seem to be taking it in stride. The tongue-in-cheek "days-since-cheyenne-mountain-employees-have-been-paid.com" website speaks to the team's overall sense of humor and good morale (so far, at least) and Balentine assured fans that development on Stargate Worlds is continuing. "We recently completed a successful phase of closed beta testing and we will start a second phase early in 2009," Balentine said.

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Another one bites the dust...
That maybe a bit early, but this is a very bad sign for MMO's.

Wait, so now MMOs are failing before they're even made? I think we need to finally slay the monster that is WoW.

Man I swear that anytime anyone tries to make a decent stargate game it always goes to hell and the company goes out of business.

dalek sec:
Man I swear that anytime anyone tries to make a decent stargate game it always goes to hell and the company goes out of business.

I was hoping that this one would end up being good. This really isn't a good sign though.

Brokkr:

dalek sec:
Man I swear that anytime anyone tries to make a decent stargate game it always goes to hell and the company goes out of business.

I was hoping that this one would end up being good. This really isn't a good sign though.

Tell me about it, I was really excited about that FPS they were making but sadly that company went belly up before it was done.

Seems WoW is really killing everything

I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

You can count me in, I'm so sick of hearing about that damn game.

Hmm, what to do.. what to do..
Options:

1. Scrap the project!
2. Kick half the team out!
3. Release it now in it's awful unfinished state.
4. Cut down massively on all kinds of features
5. ... ask for more money?

Mariena:
Hmm, what to do.. what to do..
Options:

1. Scrap the project!
2. Kick half the team out!
3. Release it now in it's awful unfinished state.
4. Cut down massively on all kinds of features
5. ... ask for more money?

All five! In this order:
First option 2.
Then option 4.
Then option 3.
Then option 5.
Finally, option 1.

Ahh, what a legacy!

Step 1: Create an MMO
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!

It's that step 2 that get ya :(

I really hope they stick to it and it ends up being big (and lasting).
25 days without pay right before christmas, they deserve it to work out. Well, a lot more then Blizzard do imo :P

I know someone who beta tested the game... it didn't sound like it'd "convert" me into a Mumorpagher, but it did sound like a good game in the genre and as a fan of the series I was hoping it'd do well.

*sigh* Here's hoping-against-hope that they can get some last minute funding.

-- Steve

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

I don't understand what any of this has to do with WoW. Why 'slay' a successful game because other companies can't manage their resources, money, or become efficient? It's the financers for Cheyenne, and management over there that perhaps was too ambitious, took on too much, or wasn't realistiv in their own expectations.

Not sure I understand how some are tying this to Blizzard. So, if WoW died...does that mean Stargate would be released and everyone is paid? What basic economy/accounting class textbook teaches this?

If you read between the lines, it seems like the employees geniunely love the game they are working on. It must be something awesome to keep working on it for free. Thats only something you do when you pour your life and soul into it. Thus, if/when this game ever does come out, its quality will be reflected by its creator's love.

seeing how the studio is about 5 miles from me, I really hope they don't close down, it would be a great place for me to work once I get more experience and not have to move out to California

I wish them the best. SGW seemed genuinely interesting, and the team at Cheyenne has some really cool folks on it.

Alone Disciple:

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

I don't understand what any of this has to do with WoW. Why 'slay' a successful game because other companies can't manage their resources, money, or become efficient? It's the financers for Cheyenne, and management over there that perhaps was too ambitious, took on too much, or wasn't realistiv in their own expectations.

Not sure I understand how some are tying this to Blizzard. So, if WoW died...does that mean Stargate would be released and everyone is paid? What basic economy/accounting class textbook teaches this?

So do you miss your sense of humor?

i like stargate but not sure if i really want to play the game, sux they are running out of money

5 years ago theyd have been able to get away with releasing it in an unfinished state (it worked for EVE) but today the WoW effect seems to mean even if u have a well polished finished game to sell, people will still ignore it. Shame, hope they do get the extra funds they need. Though like with all the next generation of MMOs, I got bored waiting for them in 2007

Shiuz91:
So do you miss your sense of humor?

Lemme guess....You're here all week and want us to try the veal.

As I see it they have three courses of action available to them:

1. Get either Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar or the Phoenix foundation to make a charitable donation.

2. Get a loan from James Spader with the precondition that once Stargate Worlds becomes popular the developer will fund production of Less than Zero 2.

3. Open up a can of Kirk Russell.

God dammit, why does stargate have bad luck when it comes to games!! it pisses me off because i have been waiting for a good stargate game for as long as the series has been out. Alliance has hug potential but shit hit the fan and the project got scrapped. Stargate as an MMO is really fitting can would be a boat load of awesome if done right. It's like its cursed or something, i mean the series is just so amazing and had such great potential for game dev's but crap keeps happening. If it ever does get finished I HOPE it is good and worth the wait, this and guild wars 2 are the only 2 MMO's which I would gladly play.

I still think they should bring SG:Alliance back from development hell, and hey stargate would make one awesome RTS too.

I thought it would be a cool game, but in a post-WoW market with The Old Republic due out soon, I don't have a lot of hope for it.

dalek sec:

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

You can count me in, I'm so sick of hearing about that damn game.

Me too, I'm doing a Games Design course & I swear it's all some twats talk about.

I even have to do a presentation about the fucking thing. At least it'll give me an opportunity to vent some anger, say what I think about the game & lay out some cold harsh truths about the game & it's thralls.

I do believe I may make at least one WoW thrall in my class cry...

Jamash:

dalek sec:

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

You can count me in, I'm so sick of hearing about that damn game.

Me too, I'm doing a Games Design course & I swear it's all some twats talk about.

I even have to do a presentation about the fucking thing. At least it'll give me an opportunity to vent some anger, say what I think about the game & lay out some cold harsh truths about the game & it's thralls.

I do believe I may make at least one WoW thrall in my class cry...

Ooooh can i get a copy or can you post it, I could go for a good laugh

Release the Beta NOW and have a nice big donation button, thats the obvious solution.

-Seraph-:

Jamash:

dalek sec:

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

You can count me in, I'm so sick of hearing about that damn game.

Me too, I'm doing a Games Design course & I swear it's all some twats talk about.

I even have to do a presentation about the fucking thing. At least it'll give me an opportunity to vent some anger, say what I think about the game & lay out some cold harsh truths about the game & it's thralls.

I do believe I may make at least one WoW thrall in my class cry...

Ooooh can i get a copy or can you post it, I could go for a good laugh

Yeah, I might share a summary or the results of the presentation in a couple of weeks if it has some amusing consequences or if I feel the need to rant about the sickening WoW love presented by others in the group, but it'll probably be quite boring and uneventful.

Jamash:

dalek sec:

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

You can count me in, I'm so sick of hearing about that damn game.

Me too, I'm doing a Games Design course & I swear it's all some twats talk about.

I even have to do a presentation about the fucking thing. At least it'll give me an opportunity to vent some anger, say what I think about the game & lay out some cold harsh truths about the game & it's thralls.

I do believe I may make at least one WoW thrall in my class cry...

Like wise, one of my friends has blocked me over AIM just because I can't stand that game, guess I won't be talking to her anymore.

dalek sec:

Jamash:

dalek sec:

Shiuz91:
I think it's time we slay the demon known as WoW who will fight with me? FREEDOM!

You can count me in, I'm so sick of hearing about that damn game.

Me too, I'm doing a Games Design course & I swear it's all some twats talk about...

Like wise, one of my friends has blocked me over AIM just because I can't stand that game, guess I won't be talking to her anymore.

Ouch! Surely that should have been the other way round.

That must sting like if a Leper covered up & ran away from you...

Alone Disciple:

Shiuz91:
So do you miss your sense of humor?

Lemme guess....You're here all week and want us to try the veal.

No no no. The veal is terrible try the steak.

Edit: Also I don't like your hat.

Jamash:

Ouch! Surely that should have been the other way round.

That must sting like if a Leper covered up & ran away from you...

Yeah.. she's pretty much on my "go to hell" list now.

I thought (and think, actually) that Stargate is great material for an MMOG. You have multiple major factions caught up in an epic clash supported by numerous lesser-known groups (and room for as many more as you want to add), a nearly infinite range of settings, equal opportunities for PvP and PvE combat and, though this may be generalizing a bit, a built-in audience of real enthusiasts. This is a game that will never topple WoW, but if the developers set their sights on an EVE Online type of success - small, financially stable, not overreaching - there's no reason it couldn't work, and work well.

Unless they run out of money before it's done, that is.

Alright, what you do is this, release it on all platforms and patch it later, possibly making them expansion packs!

Malygris:
I thought (and think, actually) that Stargate is great material for an MMOG. You have multiple major factions caught up in an epic clash supported by numerous lesser-known groups (and room for as many more as you want to add), a nearly infinite range of settings, equal opportunities for PvP and PvE combat and, though this may be generalizing a bit, a built-in audience of real enthusiasts. This is a game that will never topple WoW, but if the developers set their sights on an EVE Online type of success - small, financially stable, not overreaching - there's no reason it couldn't work, and work well.

Unless they run out of money before it's done, that is.

Yes, I think the same thing too. The question is, how big a subscriber base do you need, and can you build?

On the one end, you have WoW, a fantasy setting with paid subscriptions, and at the opposite end, you have something like Allegiance, which is a free space combat game, and has a core population of some 400-500 members.

Being a space combat game, Allegiance has some things going for it that enable it to get by with such a small base, namely, no PvE play, so there's no need for new maps, terrain or monsters.

The question is, has WoW saturated the MMORPG market, and can you make a compelling environment based on the subscriber base of the leftovers?

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