Hellgate is in dire straits, says designer

Staff leaving Flagship "in droves".

Hellgate: London may be in trouble as word emerges that staff are leaving developer Flagship "in droves".

Speaking on his blog, Guy Somberg, one of the original programmers on the project, talks of work being "depressing" as the population does "nothing but complain".

(Interestingly the post has since been removed, but has been recorded for posterity by Inc Gamers.)

"Work is depressing right now," began Somberg. "Never mind the fact that Hellgate isn't as popular as anybody had hoped. Never mind the fact that there exists a term 'Flagshipped', meaning where a company basically over-promises and then screws you. Never mind the fact that the forums are totally populated by people who do nothing but complain and talk about how much the game sucks. Never mind the fact that people do the same thing in the game itself.

"So why is work depressing? (Other than all of those other depressing things, that is.) The reason is that people are leaving. In droves, they're leaving.

"Thing is, the way things are going I'm likely to be the only programmer still working on Hellgate left from the original crew. I've heard rumours that other programmers and artists are thinking of leaving. [And] every time a programmer leaves, it's more work for me. Every time an artist leaves, it's less content that we can create for Hellgate in the future," added Somberg.

He goes on to mention that Flagship founders Peter Hu, Dave Brevik and Tyler Thompson have all but moved away from Hellgate to work on different projects.

However, Somberg is optimistic and pins his hope on the Asian market rekindling a passion for his game, as the Koreans "really love" it and Hellgate has yet to open to the Chinese audience.

Hellgate: London launched last November to solid if unspectacular critical reception. It's an action role-playing game set 30 years in the future where the spawn of hell have broken their leash and stomped there way into our land.

Key to its offering was an optional subscription-based online multiplayer mode where you and your friends could team up and tackle raid content for loot, a bit like you would in an MMO.

Head over to our Hellgate: London review to find out more.

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