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Flagship programmer claims staff are leaving "in droves"

By Matt Martin

Wed 11 Jun 2008 8:04am GMT / 4:04am EDT / 1:04am PDT

Hellgate: London studio suffering from low morale and staff departures, says programmer

Guy Somberg, an audio and gameplay programmer at Flagship Studios, has said that staff are leaving the Hellgate: London developer "in droves".

He says that poor sales of the EA published game, and negative consumer feedback has left the studio with low morale and a dwindling talent pool.

"The reason is that people are leaving. In droves, they’re leaving. We've had programmers, accountants, HR people, and artists leave," wrote Somberg on his personal blog.

Somberg states that with so many programming staff leaving the company, he's likely to be the only senior programmer left working on the game.

"Thing is, the way things are going I'm likely to be the only programmer still working on Hellgate left from the original crew," he stated.

Although he admits he's "burned out" on Hellgate, he does say that he enjoys working for Flagship, and has hopes that sales of Hellgate: London will improve once the game is fully released on the Asian market.

"I'm keeping a positive attitude about it because of Korea and China. The Koreans really love the game, and the Chinese have yet to see it. I don't know how any of these deals are structured, but I'm hinging my hopes for Hellgate's future on the Asian market."

Hellgate: London was released in Europe last November and in April went live in Korea, with Flagship claiming the action role-playing game was the most successful online game launch in the region for the past three years.

Flagship announced back in March that it had obtained financing from Comerica Bank to support further game development, with the intention to work with a business model similar to independent film financing.

"As the PC game business makes the transition from boxed retail model to the online model, alternative financing will become a cornerstone of expanding the industry," said Steve Goldstein, director of business development, at the time. has contact Flagship Studios for further comment.

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