Following the recent reports of Stainless Steel Studios closing its doors, software publisher Midway Games has released an official statement confirming the news.
The story was originally revealed after a former staff member posted forum comments on the Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War fansite. The rumour was backed up by additional comments from former studio staff and the deletion of the studio's official website.
Midway Games, the publisher working with Stainless Steel on its latest title, has issued a statement confirming the studio's closure - which also notes that the forthcoming game, which was apparently weeks away from gold disc status, will still be published in 2006.
"Due to circumstances beyond Midway's control, Stainless Steel Studios is no longer involved with the development of Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War," said Johner Riehl, senior media relations manager for Midway.
"Despite this unfortunate situation, Midway remains focused and determined to deliver a revolutionary real-time strategy experience with Rise and Fall, and will look to stay true to the title's original development vision. Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War remains scheduled for release in 2006. Midway appreciates the patience and support of Rise and Fall fans and will provide updates on the game’s development and a more specific release date as soon as possible."
Stainless Steel Studios was established by Rick Goodman, former lead designer on Age of Empires in 1998. The studio successfully completed a number of accliamed titles, including Empire Earth. There has been no official statement from the studio, leaving the exact reasons behind the closure unknown at this stage.