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

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Avatar image for jeff
Posted by Jeff (5578 posts) -
Officially on hold.
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
Avatar image for jeff
#1 Posted by Jeff (5578 posts) -
Officially on hold.
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
Avatar image for smiddy
#2 Posted by smiddy (373 posts) -

Never even heard of it.

Avatar image for redsox44
#3 Posted by Redsox44 (524 posts) -

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

Avatar image for sgtpierceface
#4 Posted by Sgtpierceface (735 posts) -

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

Avatar image for alekss
#5 Posted by Alekss (357 posts) -

aaaghhh

Avatar image for buft
#6 Posted by buft (3409 posts) -

Crazy stuff, i dont even know what too think

Avatar image for killerpidgeon
#7 Edited by KillerPidgeon (69 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.

Avatar image for vaiz
#8 Posted by vaiz (3064 posts) -

Jay Z doesn't approve.

Avatar image for alekss
#9 Posted by Alekss (357 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....

Avatar image for onan
#10 Posted by onan (1352 posts) -

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

No Caption Provided
Avatar image for ripelivejam
#11 Posted by ripelivejam (10898 posts) -

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

Avatar image for silentbob251
#12 Posted by SilentBob251 (64 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.

Avatar image for jakob187
#13 Posted by jakob187 (22932 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.

Avatar image for iamjohn
#14 Posted by iAmJohn (6232 posts) -

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

Avatar image for immortalsaiyan
#15 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4748 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.

Avatar image for vinny_says
#16 Posted by Vinny_Says (5914 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....

Avatar image for alekss
#17 Posted by Alekss (357 posts) -

The end of this generation is fucked

Avatar image for zekhariah
#18 Posted by Zekhariah (700 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.

Avatar image for somedelicook
#19 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2353 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

Avatar image for lukeweizer
#20 Posted by Lukeweizer (3276 posts) -

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

Avatar image for gtracer442
#21 Posted by gtracer442 (3 posts) -

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

Avatar image for iamjohn
#22 Posted by iAmJohn (6232 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.

Avatar image for jeff
#23 Posted by Jeff (5578 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
Avatar image for mellotronrules
#24 Posted by mellotronrules (1986 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.

Avatar image for phatmac
#25 Posted by Phatmac (5930 posts) -

What the hell!?!?! :((

Avatar image for shatteringlast
#26 Posted by shatteringlast (360 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?

Avatar image for iamjohn
#27 Edited by iAmJohn (6232 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.)

Avatar image for abendlaender
#28 Posted by Abendlaender (3056 posts) -

Oh man, this is tragic....

Avatar image for somedelicook
#29 Edited by SomeDeliCook (2353 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.
Avatar image for reisz
#30 Posted by Reisz (1622 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?

Avatar image for elwoodan
#31 Posted by Elwoodan (1037 posts) -

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

Avatar image for thegorilla
#32 Posted by TheGorilla (232 posts) -

What the hell is going on with Epic?

Avatar image for nekroskop
#33 Posted by Nekroskop (2831 posts) -
Avatar image for the_nubster
#34 Posted by The_Nubster (3153 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?

Avatar image for radioactivez0r
#35 Posted by radioactivez0r (907 posts) -

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

Avatar image for shatteringlast
#36 Posted by shatteringlast (360 posts) -

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

Avatar image for seamus85
#37 Posted by seamus85 (140 posts) -

wtf epic

Avatar image for damisterchief
#38 Edited by DaMisterChief (612 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

Avatar image for binarynova
#39 Posted by Binarynova (122 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?

Avatar image for iamjohn
#40 Posted by iAmJohn (6232 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.

Avatar image for theimmortalbum
#41 Posted by theimmortalbum (578 posts) -

Hov's crackin' that can open again.

Avatar image for joshthebear
#42 Posted by joshthebear (2704 posts) -

Man, WTF?

Avatar image for cannedstingray
#43 Posted by cannedstingray (489 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.

Avatar image for werupenstein
#44 Posted by Kidavenger (4168 posts) -

How long till the Kickstarter gets posted...

Avatar image for cybexx
#45 Posted by Cybexx (1569 posts) -

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

Avatar image for deranged_midget
#46 Posted by Deranged (2020 posts) -

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

Avatar image for colourful_hippie
#47 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5710 posts) -

Well I didn't see that coming.

Avatar image for tennmuerti
#48 Edited by Tennmuerti (9082 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.

Avatar image for draxyle
#49 Posted by Draxyle (2019 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.

Avatar image for granderojo
#50 Posted by granderojo (1899 posts) -

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

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