Gamasutra reports that German developer Spellbound Entertainment’s attempts to secure additional finances through investment have fallen through and that the company has been forced to file for bankruptcy.
An auditor has already evaluated the company’s position and has delivered an optimistic outlook: Spellbound’s reputation with publishers and projects that are at advanced stages of development means that it has a good chance of making it out of bankruptcy.
The company has announced that its sixty-five employees will continue to receive their usual salaries during the proceedings and the projects in development will be continue.
Spellbound is most known for the isometric strategy series Desperadoes and developing the fourth title in the Gothic series of RPGs.
Analysis: The good news is that Spellbound is going to make it out okay. I’ve actually played some of their games (Desperadoes 2 and Airline Tycoon back in the day) and they were always fun. Unfortunately, the cause of their current problems seem to stem from their two recent projects: Gothic 4 and the upcoming steampunk action game, RavensDale.
For those who don’t know, the Gothic series is an Elder Scrolls-like, open-world RPG that’s popular in its home nation of Germany but has only a niche following everywhere else. Open-world RPGs and other AAA titles are very expensive to produce. Gothic 4 had a publisher to bear the brunt of the development costs. No publisher for RavensDale has been announced, however, so it seems like a case of biting off more than you can chew for Spellbound.
The rising cost of AAA game development means smaller studios just can’t compete in this market anymore and run the risk of bankrupting themselves if they attempt to do so. I hope Spellbound make it through this with minimal downsizing because RavensDale looks quite interesting.