News

Auran Shuts Down

| 13 Dec 2007 14:33
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Following a week of denials and positive spin in the face of dire rumors, Fury developer Auran has closed its doors.

Kotaku Australia has reported that Auran CEO Tony Hilliam issued a statement today confirming that all staff have been dismissed, and that the company has brought in a Voluntary Administrator, which functions similarly to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Contrary to initial reports, staff members will be paid for all their work to date, as well as vacation pay and other packages.

Auran's two biggest franchises, Trainz and Fury, will continue to be supported. Hilliam said in his statement that current Trainz projects will continue development and will be released next year, while the Age of the Chosen update for Fury as well as bug fixes, new content and features will also go on as planned. Details regarding the ongoing support of these games weren't given, but Hilliam did reiterate his belief that Fury will eventually reach "successful" player and revenue levels.

"We have put together a small but committed team to continue developing Fury on an ongoing basis. This core team, as we announced last week, are a passionate group of people committed to making Fury a success. We will be releasing bug fixes, content and feature updates on a regular basis and in fact they will be more frequent with our new agile team," he said in his statement.

"I believe that once people hear about F:AotC and the new Free to Play business model, we'll start building up the player numbers and revenues that will make the game successful," Hilliam added. "I expect the naysayers will have different thoughts, but they haven't played the new build... yet."

Rumors of difficulties at Auran began last week, with reports of staff layoffs stemming from the "financially disastrous" Fury. At the time, Hilliam confirmed the layoffs but claimed the company was after a more "agile" development team to continue the game's support following its release. The Age of the Chosen update, announced earlier this week, will make drastic changes to the game's pricing model, with an unlimited free-to-play option alongside the standard subscription rates.

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