You know there's a problem in the world of Stargate when I start to run out of clever franchise-related puns and wordplay when it comes to headlining articles about troubled Stargate games. There's peril in Cheyenne Mountain once again as the second video game based on the popular Stargate franchise seems to be headed down the path of its predecessor: cancellation. MMORPG Stargate Worlds may be days away from imploding as franchise-owner MGM is apparently threatening to pull the Stargate license from the game's developer and publisher, Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment and Firesky respectively, unless the companies can manage to raise millions of dollars in additional capital by August 1. MMORPG.com has the report.
Firesky, which had several projects on the go, essentially ran out of money last fall, but rather than pull the plug, has continued to move forward. Most of the key personnel have moved onto other projects and many are behind on pay. At this time, according to our sources, there is only one member of the client team and one member of the server team still at work on the game.
“Overall, funding is obviously a huge challenge for us, but our management is working on it daily,” Hensley said. “It's visible progress and we obviously have great faith. The struggle has been more than most could bear, but there are a few here who have independent means or significant personal investment who have been able to ride it out.” While Hensley obviously continues to have some hope that the troubled company can come back, he is also realistic. "I doubt this will last much longer, but those who are here currently are amazingly dedicated and continue to make progress on our projects despite the circumstances.”
I've never felt that the Stargate franchise was right for a MMORPG (and I still wish that the previous game to meet the bad end of a Jaffa staff weapon, traditional action shooter Stargate SG-1: The Alliance, had been completed), but I think the bigger issue here is that MGM is not licensing the property to companies that can treat it properly. I'm not saying that a major player in the gaming industry like Electronic Arts or Activision could create and release a Stargate game worth playing, but I have more faith in proven developers and publishers than I do in companies such as Cheyenne Mountain and Firesky or Alliance partners in crime Perception and JoWood. If MGM wants to see a proper Stargate game through to completion then they're going to have to trust the property with a team that knows how to actually bring a finished product to the marketplace in addition to handling the Stargate lore. That does not happen inexpensively, but if I were calling the shots at MGM, I would rather spend money to develop a product that will earn back that investment rather than continue to skimp, thereby burning resources on unfinished material.