The final curtain appears to have fallen on Austrian publisher JoWood as efforts to restructure its massive debt load have fallen through.
I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for JoWood. It’s made some missteps over the years, yes, but it’s also the company that published the magnificent Arx Fatalis and that buys it a lot of love and forgiveness in my book. Not that it’s likely to matter much for very long, because after months of flailing around trying to solve its financial troubles, it looks like the ugly end has finally arrived.
JoWood declared bankruptcy in January after years of struggling to stay afloat, but said at the time that it hoped negotiations with both creditors and possible investors would allow it to keep the lights on and eventually return to solvency. But those negotiations have apparently collapsed, which combined with a “disastrously unprofitable 2010” leaves the publisher with a debt load described by GameInformer as “insurmountable.”
JoWood could now be forced to sell individual properties in order to pay off at least some of its creditors. Among those properties will presumably be DreamCatcher, another publisher best-known for churning out mountains of crapware that hit one out of the park with the indisputably brilliant 2004 shooter Painkiller. JoWood acquired DreamCatcher in 2006 but was never able to turn the Painkiller franchise into a greater success because the numerous sequels that followed, to be blunt, all sucked.