Posted Mon, Aug 09, 2010 by Martuk
Economic hardships have hit every industry in the country and the gaming industry is not immune. Sparkplay Media, makers of the free-to-play MMOG Earth Eternal, have become the latest victim of financial hardships as over this past weekend the company laid off all but two employees. The announcement was made recently on the Earth Eternal website by Sparkplay Media CEO Matt Mihaly. Matt explains that the company has simply run out of money. Despite efforts to sell Sparkplay and secure more funds the last hope for additional finances crumbled this weekend.
Sparkplay Media will be putting the game up for sale and they feel confident that someone will buy it and keep things going, but there is a chance that no one will step in to buy the game and if that happens, Earth Eternal will shut down when the hosting provider shuts down the connection for non-payment.
As always our best wishes go out to those affected by the layoffs.
Dear players of Earth Eternal,
There’s no way to disguise what I’m about to tell you as good news, so I won’t try. Unfortunately, Sparkplay has hit hard times and is not going to survive. 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. The simple fact is that we’ve run out of money. I’ve been out trying to sell Sparkplay or get further investment for it for the last 2 months without success, and our last hope crumbled this weekend.
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. 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.
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. 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’m sorry. I’ve failed you despite my best efforts. 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.
I’ve turned off the ability to buy credits now or earn them via offers/surveys. I’m also going to set all non-permanent items in the credit shop to cost nothing so that everyone can have some fun, though won’t be doing that for a few hours.
I will keep you updated as to what is going to happen with Earth Eternal, but in all likelihood we won’t know until late on Friday whether someone is going to buy EE and keep it running or not. Let’s hope for the best!
Until then, enjoy yourselves and help yourselves to the forthcoming free credit shop items.
Matt Mihaly, CEO (not for much longer) Sparkplay Media