Well, let's mark this as a rumor for now, but I've heard from a couple of different places that Vogster Entertainment--the company behind games like CrimeCraft, Robocalypse, and Unbound Saga--closed the doors at all three of its studios yesterday.
Since then, a couple of Vogster employees from the Ukraine office have updated their social networking profiles to imply that they're looking for work. A few calls to the company's New Jersey and Chicago locations have gone unanswered. I'm waiting to hear back from the company's external PR representative to see if there's any official word on the matter, but at this point, it seems likely that the publisher is no more.
[UPDATE] Apparently there's still life at Vogster! Responding to a link to this story, a community manager for CrimeCraft has posted the following:
So it looks like CrimeCraft will continue onward and there's still something going on in the New Jersey office, where the manager that posted this message is based.
Hey guys, CrimeCraft is still here and so are we! There have been some changes, but it's nothing that will effect CrimeCraft except to give us a chance to make it better.
[UPDATE 2] It looks like the rumors were only partially correct. Sorry for the winding path this story has taken over the course of the day. At this point, it sounds like the Chicago studio is closed and there have been substantial cuts elsewhere, but the company is keeping its New Jersey-based HQ open and focused on CrimeCraft. The company has issued the following press release:
Vogster Entertainment Announces Resource Reallocation
NEW YORK, NY, September 17, 2009 – Vogster Entertainment, LLC, an international innovator in video game design, today announced a restructuring to focus its resources toward the enhancement and expansion of content for their recently launched CrimeCraft shooter-MMO hybrid. With two titles completed in the last three months, the company has made significant staffing changes as it transitions from launch team to live team in the ongoing support of CrimeCraft. Vogster’s New York-area headquarters remains fully operational and committed to the development and production of existing and future titles.
“Vogster has seen a number of releases this year. As an independent developer, we need to be very strategic in our use of available resources and shift from already launched titles to support the ongoing development and growth of CrimeCraft,” stated Daniel Prousline, vice president of development at Vogster. “We regret the necessary staffing changes and the talented employees that this impacts, but it is an unavoidable step in moving to the operational stage of CrimeCraft and optimizing for the development of yet to be announced titles.”
CrimeCraft will see a number of significant content additions in the coming year, in addition to a series of soon to be revealed updates and major announcements which will take place at an upcoming San Francisco press event.