Runic Games Interview

Runic Games’ Travis Baldree and Max Schaefer field questions over at GameCyte about the closure of Flagship Studios and what the future has in store for their new company.

GameCyte: And you say Flagship Studios did close?

TB: Max, are they still kind of open?

MS: It’s barely open. It’s just open enough to take care of the final affairs, but for all intents and purposes it’s closed down.

GameCyte: We’d figured as much, but all we’d had was a press release saying (We’re still open!) (We still have our IP!) It’s hard to tell what’s actually going on.

TB: It’s a little bit of a new experience for all of us. (chuckles) We don’t exactly know the ‘˜proper’ way to close down a company. First and foremost, we’re just trying to take care of the debts and the employees in an orderly fashion, so Bill [Roper, CEO of Flagship Studios] and one or two other people have stuck around and are doing their best to get that done before we move on in different directions.

GameCyte: So you knew it was coming, and you thought you could prevent it?

TB: Well, we didn’t exactly know it was going to be coming I don’t think anyone really did.

GameCyte: I apologize, I didn’t mean to put any words in your mouth. Please go ahead and tell us what happened. I don’t want to tell you what happened.

(all laugh)

MS: We knew there was a possibility, but we were in very advanced negotiations with a couple of people for deals that would have kept Flagship open and would have kept everything running. And in fact, for a good while it was looking like a near-certainty that one of those would have come to fruition.

When they didn’t, we were far enough along that we were kind of even going past the point where we should have closed down the company, because it looked like such a surety that something was going to be closed, but there were a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiations occurring with multiple partners around the globe, some of whom were less than. ethical or honest, and it was just a very complicated mess. In the end, it was just too entangled to get a good deal in place, and so we had to close down. It was really kind of a wrenching, horrible period actually, and we learned a lot from it. We’d do things differently next time for sure.

We all were up all night, every night, not getting any sleep, working every day trying to get it to work out for everyone, and in the end it just didn’t.

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