Xbox Live Game Room didn't take off and now the developer behind it, Krome, is on the verge of collapse.

All staff have been let go and the Brisbane studio - once the biggest in Australia - will shut up shop on Monday, according to a report by Antipodean website Tsumea.

Krome Studios apparently had 400 staff when the credit crunch started chomping. The first exodus was in November 2009 when 60 staff were axed; a further 50 were chopped in April 2010; and in August, an estimated 100-plus were let go.

Game Room was released in the spring 2010 Xbox Live update. Microsoft's big idea was to let people collect old fashioned arcade units - virtual ones - and deck out amusement areas for other Avatars to visit. In reality, implementation was buggy and there were unattractive related costs: 240 MSP for an arcade unit (then free to play) or 40 MSP a play on a non-owned machine.

Retro-head Kristan Reed explored the Game Room service for Eurogamer at launch.

Krome Studios is also responsible for recent download game Blade Kitten, which Eurogamer kissed with 8/10 lipstick. Krome's most recent releases, in chronological order (starting with most recent) were Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes (3/10), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (4/10), Scene It? Box Office Smash (6/10) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels (2/10) .

What now appears to be Krome's final game, film tie-in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole for PS3, Wii and Xbox 360, is out next Friday.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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