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Bottlerocket , Namco Bandai Confirm  Splatterhouse  Take-Back
Bottlerocket , Namco Bandai Confirm Splatterhouse Take-Back
February 10, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

February 10, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Publisher Namco Bandai has transferred development of its upcoming Splatterhouse franchise reboot away from independent developer Bottlerocket Entertainment and to its own in-house teams.

"Last Friday, Namco showed up with a U-Haul truck, took all their assets (dev kits, etc.) and informed management that the title was being pulled from Bottlerocket," a representative from the studio told Gamasutra, confirming widespread rumors that originated with an anonymously-sourced report from consumer weblog Kotaku.

"Yes, we have decided to part ways with BottleRocket Entertainment," a rep for Namco Bandai told Gamasutra, "but we are committed to bringing Splatterhouse to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year."

"At this time, we are not ready to discuss specific development details about the game, and wish BottleRocket the best of luck in their future endeavors," said the rep. Reports that Namco Bandai's Afro Samurai team will now head up the title remain unverified.

Bottlerocket is not believed to have had any further projects in development at present; its other project in development was reportedly Brash Entertainment's title based on DC Universe's Flash, lost in the collapse of the now-defunct publisher. As such, the future of Bottlerocket currently remains unclear.

The Carlsbad, CA studio was formed in 2002 by the core team behind Sony-published The Mark of Kri and its sequel, Rise of the Kasai.

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Steven Boswell
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They showed up unannounced in a U-Haul? Now that's brutal.

Rodney Brett
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It hard to side with anyone on this without all of the facts. People over at Kotaku seemed to have already picked their side and almost all unanimously sided against Namco Bandai.

For Namco Bandai to literally take all assets in one day with a truck, one would have to think something was bad over at Bottlerocket, but I dunno. The game looked pretty damn good to me, and I'm pretty stoked about it's release.

Is this just a case of Namco trying to finish the product "on the cheap"? or was Bottlerocket not up to the standards set on the game? Could it have been communication problems between the dev and publisher? We may never know..

Tom Newman
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It's always a knee-jerk reaction to blame the big publisher over the smaller developer without knowing any facts, and that is my first instinct as well. It looks like this may be a story we will be seeing more of.