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CME loses Stargate video game license, Resistance to end in January

Monday - November 22, 2010
Category: PRODUCTS | Tags: , , ,

The curse of the Stargate video game continues, despite the fact that Dark Comet Games managed to successfully get the first title set in the Stargate universe to market last February.  News comes from the studio that MGM has not renewed its original license with Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, and so the doors will close on Stargate: Resistance on January 15, 2011.

Here is the full announcement from Dark Comet, the production team behind SG:R, as posted on the game’s official Web site:

On November 16, 2010, the License Agreement between Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, Inc. and MGM Interactive, Inc. expired. As a result, Cheyenne will no longer be able to offer Stargate Resistance for sale to new customers. However, in the best interests of our customers, game play will be provided for a period of 60 days (until January 15, 2011) to customers who purchased Stargate Resistance prior to November 16, 2010. Look for more information as it becomes available.

Resistance is a multi-player, third-person shooter that is completely online, leaving customers who purchased the game with no offline play options after January 15.

When reached by GateWorld, MGM had no comment on the matter of the license expiration or the possibility of its restoration at some point in the future — should, for example, Cheyenne emerge from bankruptcy solvent and ready to resume production on the game.

Dark Comet was formed by former employees and shareholders of CME when that company — several years into the development of its flagship game title Stargate Worlds, as well as Resistance — ran out of money and closed up shop last year.  Both companies and their principals have since been embroiled in a series of legal battles over just who is the rightful head of Cheyenne, and who owns all the Resistance game assets and hardware.

Dark Comet kept the game’s development going, and managed to get it finished and released earlier this year.  But some CME shareholders objected to the fact that the company had acquired the Resistance assets for pennies on the dollar, leaving them with the bill and a bankrupt studio.

Former CME chief Gary Whiting told the East Valley Tribune’s Nerdvana last week that he didn’t think the expiration of the Stargate license would endanger Resistance, since the game had already launched and was under a different license.  Dark Comet has not confirmed if this is the case.

Whiting also told the site that a new, court-appointed receiver is trying to save the Stargate license.

Meanwhile, other agents representing CME filed suit against Dark Comet and Fresh Start Studios in August, accusing the studio of fraudulent transfer of its assets to the new company when CME entered bankruptcy. According to the Nerdvana report, that dispute has been settled and assets ordered returned to CME. There is no such ruling evident in court documents obtained thus far by GateWorld.

Whiting told Nerdvana that he expects Dark Comet to return the game assets to him, comparing his situation in the “hostile takeover” to Tony Stark in Iron Man.  “They took everything I owned and they took … besides my personal property they took my good name,” he said. “When I watched Iron Man, that was my life right there on the screen because of what these guys did to me.”

A November 10 Maricopa County court document indicates that, contrary to Whiting’s claims, the previous court-appointed receiver acted appropriately in his dealings with Dark Comet Games and Tim Jenson, who took over CME after the board attempted to dismiss Whiting.

Dark Comet could not comment further on these developments, but did tell GateWorld that the court-appointed receiver is the only person who can presently speak with authority on matters concerning Cheyenne Mountain and the MGM license.  Other sources should not be taken as credible, the studio representative said.

Aaron Meehan contributed to this report.

(Thanks to PlayItGrand, Joh, and Kouryuu for the tip)

Darren created GateWorld in 1999, and today is the owner and managing editor. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children.

COMMENTS (33):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • I’m starting to feel a little AVGN about this. I’ve seen *fan made* Stargate games. Granted they were mods of other games, but they were good. Damn good. There’s no legitimate reason why it should be taking so long. Another thing, quit trying to make it an MMO, not to start out with.

  • I’ve seen Iron Man but I’m just not getting the metaphor here.

  • I have absolutely no sympathy for Cheyenne Mountain or anyone involved in this and hope MGM decides to never ever let them go near the Stargate license again. I’m not getting the Iron Man reference either. Stargate Worlds was becoming the new Duke Nukem Forever, and unlike the (potentially) happy ending that that game is getting I doubt Worlds would have had a happy ending. We were promised a game and they didn’t deliver, I mean, they even featured the actual game in an episode of Stargate Universe! (the first episode).

    Failure #1 – giving the license to a bunch of in-competent developers who have never put out a decent game before. Seriously, have ANY of these guys worked on any notable titles before?

    Failure #2 – making the first Stargate game (okay, technically the second) an MMO. Bad decision. What if the MMO tanks? Then that’s probably the end of Stargate gaming. Why not test the waters with a regular RPG or Action game (ala Mass Effect) instead of going straight to MMO. If Worlds had come out a year ago, it MIGHT have had a chance, but not now, not with LOTRO, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Champions Online now free to play, with a new World of Warcraft expansion coming out, with Star Trek Online out and with Star Wars: The Old Republic coming out soon, Worlds would not have done well against the competition.

    Failure #3 – having, again, an in-competent team who has NEVER developed an MMORPG making it. If you want your first game to be an MMORPG, you hire someone like Bioware – while they’ve never developed one before, they DO have significant experience in the RPG community) to make it. Hire a well-known, high-caliber company to make your game so that more people will be aware of it.

    This is all really just a big failure and could have easily been avoided.

  • they shouldve released the MMO when they had the chance as Free2play and worked at it at the same time. or shouldve not cancelled Alliance. big mistake that was,

  • What the hell happened to “the Alliance”?
    I knew it got canned but if they ever had a shot at making a successful Stargate game I think that was it.

  • Forgive the language Darren, but I am pissed. This is f***ing insane! I understand the MGM was just bought up and is in bankruptcy however wouldn’t it be wise to keep potential avenues of money coming in? Yeah I know that these games may not bring in as much as half life or some other big games. but doesn’t every penny count? I am starting to feel disenfranchised by how Stargate is treated and honestly it is making me wonder if Stargate (as a franchise) is even worth it.

  • No, it’s the first. In the FIRST one, Obadiah Stane pretty much took over Stark Industries and pushed Tony out using the board to file an injunction against him. Obadiah had all the resources of Stark’s company at his disposal for the entire movie.

    <- Cross-franchise detail nerd.

  • i would just like to say as a player owner of the game this really sucks! i just cant belive its happening what a waste of money on developing thenlaunching the game only to shut it down less then a year before it was launched. yeah not fair

  • This is garbage. Plain garbage. The guy is nuts comparing himself to Iron Man.

  • It’s kind of sad that after January, Stargate: Resistance will become unplayable. It’s the only modern Stargate game that exists, but without online support it will just disappear.

    By contrast, you can still go on eBay and get an old Genesis cartridge with the original Stargate game based on the movie. But with Resistance, it’ll be like it never even existed.

  • I think they should sell the license to Activision. While I don’t like what they’ve been doing with the CoD games lately, I think the black ops missions of the later games are perfect for a Stargate SG-1 game.

    Also, they don’t discriminate against the Wii. They would release the game for all consoles, even if one of them is graphically inferior. Of course, if they started development now, the Wii’s successor will probably be out by the time the game is released…

  • I have to disagree with Browncoat1984. Having chatted with the developers its clear to me that they have the experience and dedication to the franchise to pull this off, and they made a really fun and amazing game. It will be a great loss to the fans and the franchise if we loose it.

    The failure of the game is due to MGM’s decision not to advertise it. We all heard about Worlds ages ago when it had those cool long ads on SyFy during new Stargate episodes. MGM put a lot of money into that ad and the game wasn’t ready for release. Resistance was released and didn’t get any ads at all! Just before this happened I had a fellow fan ask me what SGR was! That says a lot, doesn’t it? CME was not at fault here.

  • @ Play It Grand The problem is, they shouldn’t have started out making an MMO. I don’t care how skilled the developers are. No companies that survive beyond their first game starts with a major project of this magnitude. Even Nintendo started small.

  • I hope they find a way to keep Resistance going, as it looks pretty good and gives a good reputation to Stargate franchise.

    This is quite sad story overall (people fighting in courts instead with bytes and code), but not very rare these days.

    I hope MGM will find a good way to fulfill Stargate gaming license, as it has lot of potential, even now.

  • And I agree about MMO. First of all, it is not that way of MMO I want – there are too many out there and if you want, you have to create truly compeling product. We have seen screenshots, but it is not excatly what I would pay money for – I would go for more Elite like gameplay. Therefore world would be broader and more interesting.

    Anyway, it is interesting that there is no mobile games for Stargate franchise! Mobile games is gold pit now. 2D shooters or simple designed questing would rock.

  • @browncoat: Yo are way of he mark with failure #1: A lot of the developers where in the industry for a long time some worked for Blizzard on wow and others from EA etc.

    Simply all your failure points are wrong. From going over it you seem to say that no start up company should attempt an mmo.

    The failure wasn’t caused by the developers it was caused by Gary Whiting the former CEO of CME who ran CME into the ground.

  • I feel sorry for dark comet, it seem those shareholders an employees who all lost a lot of money working for CME have created a good game with plenty of potential to expand an are general good people trying to make a go of a bad situation an have succeeded.

    Hopefully this is a sign of MGM moving into to clean up the mess left by Whiting an CME. An then sign a direct licensing deal with Dark comic. If that is legal, I lost track of the legal issues in the article. But at least they are doing something now an have created a game that is half descent an playable.

    The problem was not in the game designers, programmers an graphic artist at CME, they were top quality an all have top launch games behind them, the problem was that the management did not know how to run a game company or it finances or keep to a schedules which what management are for.

    I just hope something can be savage in the long term.

  • To be honest, Stargate Resistance is not that great. I played a lot of games at my time and to be honest I hoped that Resistance will have more adventure and more customization. I had preordered the game 1 month before releasing though. I think that Stargate Worlds had better chances.

  • I agree with you that Stargate worlds had better chance to succeed with mass market penetration, An I think it was one of the most promising MMOs in production at one time, certainly one of the most original.

  • I hate that I preordered this game before release date.

    I bought it in the hopes that we may actually get a good stargate game. It was a waste of money, but I was determined to play it and make good use of my purchase.

    And now I read that it will be shut down completely next year, only makes me realise that IT WAS a waste of money!

    I’ve never felt so cheated, especially by a franchise that I have loved since 1994!

    Alliance is the only game that had any true potential, only for it to be canned when it was practically finished! Worlds did not appeal to me.

    Infact, I am uninstalling Resistence right now. I can’t believe I wasted money on this!

    I still love the shows (SG-1, SGA, SGU), but I hope that the franchise NEVER gets a game if this will always be the result!

  • For the sake of the stargate franchise lets hope Universe is not canceled within the next couple weeks (though I do not watch it) because that might be the death knell.

  • I admit, I had no previous experience with MMO’s before this game, and even less with third person shooters. Never the less I got the game the day it came out and loved it even when an Ashrak would kill me every 5 seconds. It has true authenticity with the franchise. I think that if it had been publicised properly the fandom’s desire for a game would have made it a huge success. And you can’t judge a game by screencaps. This game has been exciting graphically, and is a great deal of fun. It takes skill, strategy, and lots of practice, as well as teamwork to play successfully. It should not have to end this way.

  • A number of years ago, when they were just starting out I went to their site and read some stuff they were planning, in particular their plan to follow the storyline of the show. That struck me as odd, as why would players want to play an MMO where the outcome was predetermined? Why be a Jaffa, get a huge player army together, storm stargate command, kill everyone there and the next day it doesn’t count because it didn’t happen in the show? So I went to the forums and asked why people would want to play the game if their actions meant very little.

    A Dev responded and essentially said: Because it’s the stargate universe and you’ll play (and pay) because of it.

    When a dev says something like that, the intention of the company and how the game is going to be made becomes abundantly clear. They don’t care how good or bad the product is, their banking on players coming just because it has a popular name brand.

    Shortly after that dev posted I just walked away and when I read this article I just smiled, companies that bank on players love of a franchise like the way this company was deserve their fate.

  • I really love SGR. I think it’s a REALLY cool game with a great community! I would have paid much more than 15€/20$ for the game. But it has to die…and the perfect SG-game is dead.

  • Was there anything to lose by extending the license? Well it was the 1 MMO game I was considering to play but I guess not. I think the game would be on the market sooner if I dropped psychology, picked up whatever studies I needed to create a game and then created the game all by myself. Epic fail.

  • As a player and fan of Stargate Resistance, I hope to dispel the hate many naysayers are directing at Dark Comet Games or SGR.

    Firstly, the devs have gone above and beyond to get this game developed and released. The game was playable, it was graphically and aesthetically up-to-date, and did justice to the Stargate franchise.

    Given the chance I think SGR could have developed into a hugely popular game.
    But thanks to GARY, aka. Lord Voldemort! We nolonger have a Stargate Game.
    Oh and the analogy Gary, it was pathetic. Who on Earth refers their plight to that of fictional hero’s? Egomaniac much?

    Let me paint a more accurate and historical allusion from which you can draw on Gary.
    From my hometown, Young, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    1861 – Lambing Flat Riots.
    During the Gold Rush Australia be amen it only rich from it’s natural resources but rich with exotic and vibrant cultures. One such culture was Chinese, a determined people in their endeavors.
    While the white Australians mined for gold the strain they harvested seemingly had been spent. So they moved on thinking all the Gold had been dug up.
    The Chinese then moved in and began mining the same quarries despite the mockery they got from the white Australians. After digging deeper eventually the Chinese discovered vast deposits of Gold, which to the white Australian seemed unfair after their hard work over such a long time. Jealous the White Australians quarreled with the Chinese eventually culminating in a massacre, which killed all the Chinese miners.

    What I’m getting at is that Gary Whiting is just another Gold Digger. Just because he didn’t get anything out of his failed SGW despite being funded heavily and advertised superflously doesn’t mean he should bring another company down that through minimal resources and time managed to establish a viable Stargate game.

    I blame Gary for all of this, and if MGM recovers I hope they never employ him again. He’s already shown a list of numerous incompetences throughout his tenure, I wouldn’t hire an underperformer that cannot give me results after years of funding.

    [side note] please develop Stargate Resitance further MGM. Update the license to include Universe, get the development team to iron out the bugs, introduce more maps and you will get all the old players back plus more.
    If Dark Comet Games/FireSky can develop SGR in the short time they had against that spent on Gaty Whiting’s egotistical over-the-top endeavour, then that probably says a lot about how much it would really cost to get this moving AGAIN – not much. You already have the game, it’s already been released, it’s not just a bunch of arbitrary code that slightly resembles Stargate now files away in Gary’s desk somewhere. You just need to reinvigorate this.

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