TimeGate Studios, co-developer of the disastrous Aliens: Colonial Marines, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The year 2013 has not been kind to TimeGate Studios. In years past it was best known to shooter fans as the reasonably competent niche studio behind the Section 8 franchise, but in more recent months it's gained much wider exposure for a much less desirable reason: the Aliens: Colonial Marines fiasco, on which it assisted primary developer Gearbox, although to what extent is, I believe, still a matter of some debate. Regardless of the specifics, TimeGate was forced to lay off an estimated 25 employees shortly thereafter.
And yet things were about to get worse. The big blow fell just a couple weeks ago, when a judge ruled against it in a long-running legal action with publisher SouthPeak Interactive, awarding SouthPeak $7.35 million in damages and all rights to the Section 8 IP. That threw TimeGate's next project, an oddball online shooter called Minimum, and the whole future of the studio into doubt, and today comes the not-at-all-surprising news that a Chapter 11 petition has been filed.
According to Polygon, TimeGate's creditors range from Unreal Engine developer Epic Games to a local pizza joint that's owed $34.80, and of course SouthPeak, whose bill is somewhat higher. The studio's liabilities are reportedly in the $10 million to $50 million range, while it claims $1 to $10 million in assets.
It's possible that the studio could emerge from this mess chastened but intact, but I think the greater likelihood is that this is the beginning of the end. TimeGate has not yet commented on the filing.