The much-rumoured closure of FASA Studio, one of Microsoft’s first-party studios, finally occurred yesterday.
Whispers of the studio’s demise had been circulating since shortly before the release of Shadowrun, a game panned by critics for being a full-price game without a singleplayer component. Fans of the Shadowrun property, originally a pen-and-paper RPG, were similarly disgruntled at the decision to use the licence on a first-person shooter.
In the past the studio had been active within the MechWarrior franchise, creating MechWarrior 4: Vengeance and MechAssault, the first title to use Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform back in 2002.
“While the rumours have been circulating forever, we chose to wait on an official announcement because we didn’t want people’s attention distracted from our last product, Shadowrun, a game we loved,” explained FASA Studio head Mitch Gitelman in a message on the official Shadowrun forums.
Despite knowing that the studio was to shut down, many staff members stayed with the company to create three Title Updates for the game.
“We have kept on our community manager and technical support manager on the job to aid and support you, and will continue to do so while people continue to play our game”, he continued.
On the subject of the team’s re-employment, Gitelman added: “I am pleased that about half of us have found great positions elsewhere in Microsoft Game Studios and Microsoft, where they can share their experience and passion with the great people there.”