Stargate Worlds Studio Ceases Operations

Stargate Worlds Studio Ceases Operations

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Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, the long-suffering studio behind Stargate: Resistance and Stargate Worlds, has finally collapsed under the weight of its crushing debt, laying off all employees and ceasing all operations.

The Cheyenne Mountain saga has been dragging on since 2008, when it was revealed that the studio's MMOG project Stargate Worlds was at risk of running out of money. The news didn't get any better when a lawsuit over unpaid bills was filed against the company in March 2009 or a few days later when Stargate SG-1 Executive Producer Brad Wright called the whole thing a waste. The studio was able to release Stargate: Resistance last month, a game which seemed to come from out of nowhere, but only a couple weeks later it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Even so, it put on a brave face, stating that Chapter 11 "does not shut [Cheyenne Mountain] down or otherwise affect its daily operations."

Unfortunately, CME's daily operations have now most definitely been affected: The studio has laid off all employees and ceased operations while it undergoes an evaluation by a court-appointed receiver. According to a statement made by the receiver, CME current has less than $10,000 in cash, while it faces up to nearly $20 million in debts, including $1.1 million in unpaid wages dating back to March 2009, state and federal taxes of $3 million and five lawsuits with an estimated potential liability of over $10 million. The studio was expected to begin vacating its building today; on top of everything else, it owes around $35,000 in back rent and the landlord indicated he would "lock the doors" at midnight on March 31.

The company is also struggling with a dispute over management; Gary Whiting, the former CEO who was removed amid allegations of financial shenanigans, is contesting his dismissal, while someone named Dale Grabois is apparently claiming that he was appointed president of CME by Whiting. While awkward and potentially confusing for shareholders caught up in the mess, the receiver noted that it's not particularly relevant question. "It is a moot point at this particular point in time because the Receiver has been placed in control of CME and CMG's affairs," he said.

Believe it or not, however, the news isn't all bad. Stargate: Resistance, the game CME did manage to ship, is now in the hands of a new operation called Fresh Start Studios, founded by CME shareholders who didn't want to see it go under. Fresh Start paid $100,000 for the game and is investing another $200,000 to cover expenses including payroll, rent and other costs.

"They have taken this step in an effort to preserve the game and prevent it from going offline because they felt there was no other alternative," the receiver noted. "As represented to the Receiver, their sole intent was to preserve the game and prevent it from going offline due to lack of funding, employees leaving because they had not been paid, etc. The principals did not want to put additional money into CME or CMG because of the current shareholder litigation proceeding in Superior Court and the financial circumstances that exist."

It's always sad to see a game studio come to grief and never more so than when it was working on a project with as much potential as Stargate: Worlds. I don't think anybody expected it to dethrone World of Warcraft, but with a rich backstory and "anything goes" approach, a Stargate-based MMOG could have been a lot of fun. With luck, Stargate: Resistance will remain viable, but it looks like Stargate Worlds has finally breathed its last.

Thanks to thenumberthirteen for the tip.

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As someone who has a deep fondness for Stargate and a Resistance player I am really sad about this. Stargate is a great franchise to make games out of, and they keep getting cancelled.

Also. Yay! my tip was posted. Second time in as many months. I may as well work for them :)

This makes me sad :(

John Funk:
This makes me sad :(

Agreed.

This...Has crushed my soul slightly..

Hardly suprising when the people in charge of the actual Game developers just shout "Jaffa Kree!" at the top of their lungs..i assume.

What ever happened to Stargate Universe by the way? When will they continue on the damn show?

John Funk:
This makes me sad :(

Me too ;_; I really wanted to see a Stargate MMO...it would have been so epic...and awesome...and full of win.

Now it will never be!

:( Sad to say, but I saw this coming. I held out hope that it might finally struggle through it's financial cocoon, but no such luck. Oh dear. Well, at least there's still SGU.

Well, considering the state the developer was in, I can't say I'm surprised.

Hope that those who lost their jobs get back on their feet soon.

Pandalisk:
What ever happened to Stargate Universe by the way? When will they continue on the damn show?

SGU Season 1 resumes Friday in the US, and the 13th in the UK.

/cry

Wow. That is some story. I feel so bad for all those people working there.

thenumberthirteen:
Also. Yay! my tip was posted. Second time in as many months. I may as well work for them :)

Kudos =). You really cover every step regarding SG. in ze fanclub!

OT: This saddens me, because oppose to other MMOs, this actually looked quite good. When I mean 'look' I mean 'look'. The graphics and effects were satisfying, something most MMOs lack.

A pity. Not altogether that surprising, but it's still a pity.

Damn. I was really looking forward to this. Oh well, at least there All Points Bulletin!

Nincompoop:

thenumberthirteen:
Also. Yay! my tip was posted. Second time in as many months. I may as well work for them :)

Kudos =). You really cover every step regarding SG. [small]in ze fanclub!</small

Thank you. ^_^

Remember SG fans there is an Escapist Stargate Fan Club with all the latest news and discussion on Stargate. Like did you know they're selling off a boatload of Stargate props and costumes on eBay?

Hmm, had some baseball teammates invest in this game/company a couple years back...I wonder if they have seen this link....

Time to dig up some phone numbers and give the "I told you so" routine. :-P

I do feel bad for the game, the developers and the employees. It's got to be tough to put that much time and effort into a project only to have it fall flat on its face.

thenumberthirteen:
As someone who has a deep fondness for Stargate and a Resistance player I am really sad about this. Stargate is a great franchise to make games out of, and they keep getting cancelled.

Also. Yay! my tip was posted. Second time in as many months. I may as well work for them :)

Yeah, you are the resident source for all things SG!

OT: Looks like I'll have to organize a gigantic LARP of SG now if I want anything massively multiplayer.

/cry

Damn you real world!!!

BlindMessiah94:
Looks like I'll have to organize a gigantic LARP of SG now if I want anything massively multiplayer.

These may be the first time these words have ever been spoken, but I would suggest Second Life. They have Stargates, kick ass ones, for free!

thenumberthirteen:

BlindMessiah94:
Looks like I'll have to organize a gigantic LARP of SG now if I want anything massively multiplayer.

These may be the first time these words have ever been spoken, but I would suggest Second Life. They have Stargates, kick ass ones, for free!

I pretty much fail at my real life so I don't know how well I'd do with a second one
<_<
>_>
But still...free stargates...so tempting
Or I could build my own working stargate...now that would be awesome.
Actually there is a store in the mall here that makes custom action figures after scanning your face. They have really good detail. It's expensive but I've always wanted myself as an action figure as a member of SG. That would be awesome.

This could have been the game that would have gotten me into MMO's. Sad times.

Meh, sad as it is to say this, but I could see it coming from a mile off. CME put on a brave face, but I doubt there was any way they'd ever recoup their losses, even if they finally released the MMO. I would love to have seen the finished product, but I think it was destined never to be released, just like Alliance.

If only I actually liked Universe...

I'm not surprised that this happened, but I was hoping that they'd manage to get through it somehow. I guess this means that the Stargate mmo will never happen. This just sucks... :(

Wikipedia doesn't even have a page on these guys so they must not have really done ANYTHING. I know Resistance was released, but other than that what have they actually done?

I would say another company would take it considering how close the game was to being completed. I hope personally Turbine take it because of their other mmo's like lord of the rings online and dungeons and dragons online are both proving to be hits in the pay to play and free to play categories.

Pity, but hardly surprising. Hopefully someone else picks up the IP.

This reminds me of another company. Anybody remember perpetual entertainment? the original license holder for star trek online. They pulled the same scam.

 

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