Flagship Studios is a game development company founded in 2003 by the core executive team from Blizzard North following a dispute with publisher Vivendi over the work they had done on Diablo III. The founders (Bill Roper, Max and Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik), who have been together since 1993 when they were known as Condor, are responsible for creating the Diablo franchise and were instrumental in the creation of numerous other Blizzard Entertainment titles, including Starcraft and Warcraft.
In 2005, Flagship revealed Hellgate: London through an article in PC Gamer magazine. HG:L was released on Halloween 2007 and featured core action-RPG gameplay very similar to the Diablo games; Hellgate: London was often hailed as the spiritual successor to the Diablo series, before Blizzard officially announced Diablo III in 2008. Hellgate recieved mixed critical reviews, and Flagship CEO Bill Roper admitted later that the project had been too ambitious, and that the game had shipped in an essentially unfinished state.
In a press release issued on July 14, 2008, Flagship Studios announced that they had run into financial trouble and had been forced to lay off almost all of the development team, as well as close down Hellgate: London's subcription-based multiplayer mode to new members. At the time of the announcement, the team had been developing Mythos, a free-to-play MMORPG. The state of development on Mythos is currently unknown, though Flagship have stated that they retain the rights and technology behind both Mythos and Hellgate: London.