Stargate fans and gamers alike are anxiously awaiting some official news on the game, which the studio originally hoped to release last fall. Layoffs at the Phoenix-based development house and CME’s need to find additional investors for the game (coupled with the worldwide economic downturn in the fall) prompted many to wonder if Worlds would ever be finished — or if it would follow the last Stargate video game, Stargate SG-1: The Alliance, which died late in its development.
Stargate Worlds won’t suffer the same fate, CME Senior Marketing Manager Kevin Balentine told GateWorld. Employees are busy working on the game and — while CME is still seeking additional investor support — the company is making payroll.
“I can assure you that Stargate Worlds is in development and we are hard at work on the project,” Balentine said. “We are pursuing several financing deals that will allow us to complete and publish Stargate Worlds and our other projects, as well as pay our vendors and suppliers. The crisis has hit our economy hard, but we are confident that we will turn the corner and be back stronger than ever.”
The comments came following Stargate executive producer Brad Wright’s statement to GateWorld on Thursday, expressing his concern about the status of the MMO (story).
“It’s a terrible shame,” Wright said. “They had an opportunity and they got our support, and they obviously had significant funding, and it didn’t happen.”
Balentine said that while Wright isn’t privy to the day-to-day of operations at Cheyenne Mountain, the company should probably be communicating better with him about the game.
“We’re still in business, the lights are still on, we’re still working on the game,” he said. “I think fans are going to be concerned regardless of what we say or do at this point. It’s a natural reaction to what’s happening in the economy and what’s happening in our industry. There’s a lot of different companies going out of business right now. … But we’re still here, we’re still working, we’ve ridden out what I think is the worst of the situation and we all firmly believe that we’re going to come through this stronger and better.”
Why the long silence in the midst of the financial problems and increasing customer concerns? The company said that its publicity is currently in a “dark period,” attempting to stay out of the swirl of negative news that is currently surrounding the video game industry as a whole.
As the game gets closer to its release, the publicity engine will come back to life. “We’ve got a lot of screen shots and some trailers that we’ve put together that are going to go out at the time when we relaunch,” Balentine said.
But after the missed dates of the last year, don’t expect the studio to commit to another firm release window. The studio said that the game’s production timeline has had to be extended due to the funding issues.
Meanwhile, CME also told GateWorld that a second phase of beta testing will be opening soon.
“We’ve got a great group of developers here that are absolutely committed to building the highest quality MMO based on the Stargate franchise,” the studio said. “For these guys this is their heart and soul. That’s what they are putting into this game. We’re doing it for the fans of the series, we’re doing it for fans of MMOs, we’re doing it for gamers.
“And we’re still working here. No matter what the news is that’s going around out there, we’re still working. The game is going to get done. And you will like it!”
Learn more about the game at its official Web site, StargateWorlds.com, and watch GateWorld for more on this story as it develops.