Perhaps things are laid to rest after all
In our continuing coverage of the demise of Flagship Studios, we have a new twist to the tale. For those that don't remember - Flagship Studios, developer of Hellgate: London and Mythos, suddenly died last month without much warning. Their Korean partner, HanbitSoft, immediately laid claim to both IP's. Insults were exchanged, things grew quiet.
In the last couple weeks, we've learned that Hellgate: London is being guaranteed and run by Namco/Bandai, and that game's survival is now a done deal. Also, developer T3 Entertainment (which has a controlling stake in HanbitSoft) put out ads for programmers to open a studio in California specifically for development of Mythos. This posed questions at the time - either the remains of Flagship had struck a deal with T3, or there was going to be a nasty legal battle up ahead.
Now it seems like the former has occured with Flagship Studios reforming to create Runic Games.
The development team behind ill-fated free MMO Mythos has re-emerged as Runic Games, promising to put its "expertise in the Action-RPG MMO genre" to use once again in the creation of "the best games in this market".
Runic is the "reformation" of the former Flagship Studios Seattle team, which was shut down recently, and is headed up by former Flagship duo Travis Baldree and Max Schaefer, both of whom held influential roles on Mythos.
This leads me to believe that Flagship has struck a deal with T3 because of business law. (I know, it's boring, but useful sometimes.) In trying to gain loans, Flagship put it's IP's up as collateral. When you do that, you can't transfer the collateral without either paying off, or defaulting the loan. If you default, it goes to the person you borrowed from. If you pay it off, you can do what you like with it. I highly doubt that Flagship/Runic managed to pay down it's loans at this point in time. Therefore, Runic can't own the rights to Mythos. (Doesn't matter if it's the same people, it's two different businesses.) Therefore, I think it's likely that they've ceeded the rights to HanbitSoft (who held the loan) and by proxy T3 Entertainment in order to continue their presence in the development of Mythos.
It's probably not an ideal solution, but it's one of the best that could be hoped for, given the situation.
For more information, please check out Runic Games' new website.
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