Infinity Blade: Dungeons Goes "On Hold" As Epic Shutters Impossible Studios

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Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -
Officially on hold.

Back in August, Epic announced that it was picking up some chunk of the team formerly known as Big Huge Games--one of the studios impacted by the implosion of the 38 Studios--and giving them Infinity Blade: Dungeons, the Diablo-like action-RPG set in the same universe as Chair Entertainment's Punch-Out!! with swords franchise for iOS. The team was branded Impossible Studios.

About three days ago, I started wondering what the heck was going on with Infinity Blade: Dungeons, since it looked pretty interesting when I saw it back around E3 last year. Today we got our answer.

In a message posted to Epic's official company blog, Epic founder Tim Sweeney gets right to the point. Epic is closing Impossible Studios, with "ultimately it wasn't working out for Epic" given as the reason for the closure. Epic is, however, allowing the team at Impossible to keep its name and logo, giving them the opportunity to reform under that name, if desired.

As a result of all this, Infinity Blade: Dungeons is now officially on hold.

I'm probably supposed to provide some sort of meaningful commentary here, but I don't really know what to think. I'm just sort of shocked. That's nuts.

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#1 Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -
Officially on hold.

Back in August, Epic announced that it was picking up some chunk of the team formerly known as Big Huge Games--one of the studios impacted by the implosion of the 38 Studios--and giving them Infinity Blade: Dungeons, the Diablo-like action-RPG set in the same universe as Chair Entertainment's Punch-Out!! with swords franchise for iOS. The team was branded Impossible Studios.

About three days ago, I started wondering what the heck was going on with Infinity Blade: Dungeons, since it looked pretty interesting when I saw it back around E3 last year. Today we got our answer.

In a message posted to Epic's official company blog, Epic founder Tim Sweeney gets right to the point. Epic is closing Impossible Studios, with "ultimately it wasn't working out for Epic" given as the reason for the closure. Epic is, however, allowing the team at Impossible to keep its name and logo, giving them the opportunity to reform under that name, if desired.

As a result of all this, Infinity Blade: Dungeons is now officially on hold.

I'm probably supposed to provide some sort of meaningful commentary here, but I don't really know what to think. I'm just sort of shocked. That's nuts.

Staff Online
#2 Posted by smiddy (353 posts) -

Never even heard of it.

#3 Posted by Redsox44 (481 posts) -

That's dumb, at least they get to keep their sweet logo.

#4 Posted by Sgtpierceface (610 posts) -

That's really weird. What could they have done to get "put on hold"?

#5 Posted by Alekss (327 posts) -

aaaghhh

#6 Posted by buft (3301 posts) -

Crazy stuff, i dont even know what too think

#7 Edited by KillerPidgeon (62 posts) -

@Redsox44 said:

That's dumb, at least they get to keep their sweet logo.

It is a pretty schweet logo to be fair.

EDIT: There is something that smells off about this news though.

#8 Posted by punkxblaze (2957 posts) -

Jay Z doesn't approve.

#9 Posted by Alekss (327 posts) -

@KillerPidgeon said:

It is a pretty schweet logo to be fair.

EDIT: There is something that smells off about this news though.

Maybe Jeff is in his underwear again....

#10 Posted by onan (1283 posts) -

For all their effort, they couldn't make the Impossible possible.

#11 Posted by ripelivejam (3541 posts) -

seems like the big huge games guys can't get a decent break

#12 Posted by SilentBob251 (61 posts) -

That must really suck for all those people forced to endure two studio closings in less than a year. I bet some are wondering if the gaming industry is even for them anymore. Could lose some good talent. Wouldn't blame them a bit though. What a shame.

#13 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -

What the hell? Why hire on a bunch of people and open a studio just to shut it down with no product released? What do they mean it wasn't working out for them? The product was bad? The studio was on an inflated budget? Epic is in trouble?

This is just...weird.

#14 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -

Maybe there's some truth to all that talk about Epic getting out of making games after all...

#15 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

Why would Epic do this? That can't feel good for the people at Impossible Studios. I liked KOA: Reckoning. Hope they get to keep making games. So much studio closure lately. It's a bummer.

#16 Posted by Vinny_Says (5686 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

What the hell? Why hire on a bunch of people and open a studio just to shut it down with no product released? What do they mean it wasn't working out for them? The product was bad? The studio was on an inflated budget? Epic is in trouble?

This is just...weird.

or maybe the guys are the problem, seeing how they went through 2 closures already....

#17 Posted by Alekss (327 posts) -

The end of this generation is fucked

#18 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

@ripelivejam said:

seems like the big huge games guys can't get a decent break

Or the more talented big huge people took off to more stable employment before 38 studios had imploded, and the place is less of an asset than anticipated. Although that is the really negative interpretation, and it could just be that the integration side of it is not working due to time zones, etc.

#19 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2224 posts) -

This, big names leaving Epic, and nothing really huge besides the new engine coming from Epic gives me the feeling they are either under hard times or are not giving a single shit about making games anymore and instead just focusing on graphics. Considering how many companies license the engine, I doubt its the former

#20 Posted by Lukeweizer (2608 posts) -

Those poor people. Laid off twice in less than a year.

#21 Posted by gtracer442 (1 posts) -

Ouch... Right in the heart. I hate it when a studio closes. Call me when there's actually something good for once.

#22 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

@jakob187 said:

What the hell? Why hire on a bunch of people and open a studio just to shut it down with no product released? What do they mean it wasn't working out for them? The product was bad? The studio was on an inflated budget? Epic is in trouble?

This is just...weird.

or maybe the guys are the problem, seeing how they went through 2 closures already....

Yes, I'm sure the sub-studio who was bought specifically to turn the game they were making into a side-story for the incomplete MMO, and ended up being the only part of the company to put out anything with the 38 Studios name on it, were the problem there. Great logic.

#23 Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -

@SomeDeliCook said:

This, big names leaving Epic, and nothing really huge besides the new engine coming from Epic gives me the feeling they are either under hard times or are not giving a single shit about making games anymore and instead just focusing on graphics. Considering how many companies license the engine, I doubt its the former

Keep in mind that Tencent picked up a minority stake in Epic last year, which probably meant that all the big-time stakeholders (meaning the guys that seem to keep leaving the company) got paid. I suspect you're right about that company focusing more on its engine development and licensing business down the road.

Staff Online
#24 Posted by mellotronrules (1172 posts) -

that's a bummer- but epic is providing severance, and they did give them a parachute from 38 studios (even if it was ultimately fleeting). hopefully they have some leadership to reform under.

#25 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

What the hell!?!?! :((

#26 Posted by shatteringlast (205 posts) -

@Jeff said:

@SomeDeliCook said:

This, big names leaving Epic, and nothing really huge besides the new engine coming from Epic gives me the feeling they are either under hard times or are not giving a single shit about making games anymore and instead just focusing on graphics. Considering how many companies license the engine, I doubt its the former

Keep in mind that Tencent picked up a minority stake in Epic last year, which probably meant that all the big-time stakeholders (meaning the guys that seem to keep leaving the company) got paid. I suspect you're right about that company focusing more on its engine development and licensing business down the road.

So what would happen to the Unreal Tournament IP? Maybe another 3rd party will develop it if there's ever another UT game?

#27 Edited by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -

@Jeff said:

@SomeDeliCook said:

This, big names leaving Epic, and nothing really huge besides the new engine coming from Epic gives me the feeling they are either under hard times or are not giving a single shit about making games anymore and instead just focusing on graphics. Considering how many companies license the engine, I doubt its the former

Keep in mind that Tencent picked up a minority stake in Epic last year, which probably meant that all the big-time stakeholders (meaning the guys that seem to keep leaving the company) got paid. I suspect you're right about that company focusing more on its engine development and licensing business down the road.

I don't really understand what the impetus is for Epic to do this, aside from the key people wanting to cash out and retire. They make more money on the engine obviously, but it's not like their games weren't selling, Bulletstorm excepted. There's probably no good answer for this, but why throw everything out the window to focus the company on one part of the product when it doesn't seem like the engine is going to be improved any by the greater focus?

@shatteringlast said:

So what would happen to the Unreal Tournament IP? Maybe another 3rd party will develop it if there's ever another UT game?

I'm guessing it's dead, considering UT3 did not do so well for them. (Though let's be honest, it was a pretty mediocre UT.)

#28 Posted by Abendlaender (2764 posts) -

Oh man, this is tragic....

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#29 Edited by SomeDeliCook (2224 posts) -
@shatteringlast said:

@Jeff said:

@SomeDeliCook said:

This, big names leaving Epic, and nothing really huge besides the new engine coming from Epic gives me the feeling they are either under hard times or are not giving a single shit about making games anymore and instead just focusing on graphics. Considering how many companies license the engine, I doubt its the former

Keep in mind that Tencent picked up a minority stake in Epic last year, which probably meant that all the big-time stakeholders (meaning the guys that seem to keep leaving the company) got paid. I suspect you're right about that company focusing more on its engine development and licensing business down the road.

So what would happen to the Unreal Tournament IP? Maybe another 3rd party will develop it if there's ever another UT game?

Unreal Tournament would be better in a 3rd party's hands anyways. UT3 was honestly just an engine showcase and it was the first UT game that Digital Extremes wasn't involved with. 
If Unreal Tournament was given to People Can Fly, I can see amazing things coming from it 
*edit I take back what I said, Unreal Championship 2 was the first non-DE Unreal game, and it was amazing.
#30 Posted by Reisz (1461 posts) -

That's insane. As unlikely as it is I hope we find out the impetus behind this decision, bankable developers, bankable engine, bankable franchise, bankable genre then shut down in a snap? What was going on back there?

#31 Posted by Elwoodan (761 posts) -

:( I really enjoyed Infinity Blade, was reasonably excited for dungeons too, they did cool stuff for a phone game.

#32 Posted by TheGorilla (228 posts) -

What the hell is going on with Epic?

#33 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -
#34 Posted by The_Nubster (2047 posts) -

This lends credence to the theory of Epic getting out of games.

Just please let Chair make another Shadow Complex, and then you can leave games, okay? Please?

#35 Posted by radioactivez0r (829 posts) -

This makes the initial studio forming seem like a really short-sighted, poorly thought out PR stunt.

#36 Posted by shatteringlast (205 posts) -

Good points on UT3... however I'll always have a spot in my heart for UT 2004.

#37 Posted by seamus85 (116 posts) -

wtf epic

#38 Edited by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Jeff writing a article, THERE IS A GOD. No but very cool of epic for pretty much giving these people a job and a paid time to look for one

#39 Posted by Binarynova (150 posts) -

That's. Weird. Still, I think Infinite Blade would have been a great title for the Playstation Move. Maybe this will somehow break them from the iOS leash?

#40 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -

@shatteringlast said:

Good points on UT3... however I'll always have a spot in my heart for UT 2004.

As you should, because UT2k4 is god tier.

#41 Posted by theimmortalbum (468 posts) -

Hov's crackin' that can open again.

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#42 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Man, WTF?

#43 Posted by cannedstingray (387 posts) -

Apparently the game was delayed into 2013, so it was going to be a 2012 release. Doesn't seem like a lot of time for a studio to build and release a game. I'm guessing they were missing milestones, or at least quality was sub par.. However, it still seems like an unrealistsically short dev cycle.

#44 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

How long till the Kickstarter gets posted...

#45 Posted by Cybexx (1151 posts) -

Yeah it really feels like Epic is getting out of game development.

#46 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Wow, that doesn't bode well for either Epic or Impossible.

#47 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

Well I didn't see that coming.

#48 Edited by Tennmuerti (8005 posts) -

Not surprised if I think about it.

KoA:Reckoning wasn't all that hot and had numerous core design flaws, it tried to do some grand things, but outside of the fresh and solid melee combat in an action RPG it really had nothing else to offer that wasn't done several times better in other games.

Now combine that with the fact that it's only a part of that team, a team that fractured, it's quite possible that they simply could not pull off what Epic demanded from them, and there really can be a dozen and one reasons for that, unrealistic expectations morale, unfamiliar work conditions, different corporate culture, bad team combo, etc, etc ...

Epic saying "ultimately it wasn't working out for Epic" is the corporate equivalent of saying "it's not you it's me" in a relationship, you don't want to hurt the other party's feelings (in this case you don't want to say bad things about them as they are let go, to hurt their chances of finding further employment as little as possible)

Kinda cynical way to look at it, but it's not surprising in the least, even if it is a bummer.

#49 Posted by Draxyle (1792 posts) -

That is pretty tragic. At least those dudes got payed an extra half year and moreso than they would have otherwise (assuming they couldn't find jobs elsewhere), but this is a crying shame. Not exactly good PR for Epic either to shut down the studio that they "saved".

At least they're allowed to continue their work on their own if they so choose to, but I can't imagine they can scrounge up funding for that.

#50 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

So it's an iOS loot rpg? I can see why Epic wanted to shit can it...

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