Sparkplay lays off staff, puts Earth Eternal up for auction
Business has ran out of money and cannot secure further investment, says CEO
Earth Eternal developer Sparkplay Media has laid of the majority of staff and could be forced to close its MMO Earth Eternal.
According to CEO Matt Mihaly, the business has "run out of money" and attempts to sell or secure investment over the past two months have failed.
"I had to lay off all of our staff except for two people (one of which is me) on Friday, and it's likely that by this time next week neither of us will be with Sparkplay any more either," he wrote on the official Earth Eternal website.
"What does this mean for Earth Eternal? The answer is that it's hard to tell. We're putting it up for auction today and are reasonably confident that someone will buy it and keep it running," he continued.
"There is, however, the chance that nobody will want to take on the cost of running it. If that happens, Earth Eternal will go down when our internet and hosting provider pulls the plug for non-payment. It's hard to tell when that could happen, but it'll certainly be here at least another week, at minimum."
Sparkplay Media secured $4.25 million at the start of 2008 after two years of developing Earth Eternal, with the free-to-play massively multiplayer online game released as an open beta in October last year.
"I know this comes as a crushing blow to many of you, and believe me, I and the rest of the former Sparkplay staff share those feelings, times ten," continued Mihaly. "Some of us have been working on Earth Eternal for over four and a half years and have poured our hearts and souls into it and Sparkplay. We worked our asses off and through the long hours, frustrating bugs, and occasional problems so bad we had to laugh, we became a very tight team as well as good friends. It is incredibly disappointing to everyone that it's come to this.
"I've failed you despite my best efforts," he told the community. "I've never worked harder in my life, but it wasn't enough. Things that we planned on happening didn't, and things we didn't plan on happening did. I don't want to go into a lot of detail and I don't want to try to shift responsibility to anyone but myself. There's really nothing I can say other than I am very, very sorry to have let you down."