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Without a buyer, Vigil loses more than a few jobs: It loses a team
Without a buyer, Vigil loses more than a few jobs: It loses a team
January 23, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

January 23, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi
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    14 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Recruitment



"The people I waged war with are no longer together. The people that I bled with, vented with, argued with (often times LOUDLY), and kicked back with... these people will never be together again in the same combination."
- Vigil Games' Ben Cureton writes an open letter following the news that his studio didn't make the cut at today's piecemeal auction of THQ's assets.

Whenever I report on redundancies in this industry -- and it's something I have to do a lot, unfortunately -- it tends to be from the perspective of individuals losing their jobs. But Cureton's impassioned letter is a grim reminder that while people can find new jobs, demolishing an entire team is something that can never be fixed.

While it's possible that THQ will still find a buyer for the Austin-based studio behind the Darksiders games (and in a letter sent today, CEO Brian Farrell says he's trying), it's not looking good. And with this news coming not even a week after another talented studio, Gas Powered Games, decimated its staff after running out of money, it's a sad time for all of us who still believe in making games.

Good luck to our friends at Vigil.

Read the entire letter here.


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Comments


Daniel Campbell
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It just blows my mind that someone didn't put in a semi-major bid on this. I'm so sorry for the people at Vigil. I hope you all land on your feet.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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Seems like Platinum will be taking over Darksiders, but it's not surprising that they don't have the resources to hire a whole new dev team.

Mike Griffin
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It's terrible for those guys, especially living on the edge like that for months. Then as it finally happens, to be left in limbo.

I hope someone attempts to keep that team together and wrangle the 'Crawler' project they were proudly working on.

Surely there's a publisher out there looking to fortify their line-up towards the next-gen consoles. Here's a skilled team and an intriguing game in progress.

Jay Anne
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What kind of legal barriers exist to prevent a company to individually hire a bunch of the team instead of purchasing the studio? Is that what happened to Big Huge and Epic?

Roger Collum
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You can take a group of unemployed people and hire them. It then becomes the challenge of equipment and offices. Doing that, however, wouldn't include any of their previous IPs so they'd be starting from scratch.

Alan Rimkeit
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That makes me very sad. Such a waste of talent in an awesome team. Lame. :( Their games will be missed.

Maria Jayne
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The only reasoning I can come up with is that everybody already has their own "third person hack n slash" game. Of course the lacking sales of Darksiders 2 may also have been a factor, there isn't much point buying a studio that makes a game to compete with yourself and you already outsell it.

David Blalock
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I've been following Vigil for a while now, and even entertained the fantasy of working with the team once my MS is complete. It's unfortunate that sales of previous titles haven't been to the blockbuster level that would have attracted investors, because they appear to have a very solid team that delivers results on all fronts. Even further, the artistic style and vision I've seen in their titles is something that is not commonly seen.

Stephen Horn
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I would suspect that the loss of Joe Madureira played a role in their demise. It's very sad. I loved Darksiders, it was just my speed of third-person action/adventure, and I would have liked to see more titles like it from their team.

Tyler Gedeon
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I was hopeful that Vigil would receive a bid, such a shame. Best of luck to the employees, I hope your transition period is brief.

Matt Terry
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This is why I would be fine paying $70-$75 retail for a console game to give developers more room to breathe. It would still be the greatest value in interactive entertainment.

Emmanuel Henne
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Exactly.

Emmanuel Henne
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I have seen Joe Madueira as a vital point for the development of DS, but artists like that can only be held captive for a while, it comes with the territory. I suspect Joe left knowing that dark times lay ahead and I bet he left enough inspiration and concept art, maybe even an offer to help, for DS 3. What I dont get is that DS 2 didnt sell more. To me it does a lot of things right, okay, there are still bugs (some even preventing people from finishing the game), but all in all, its grandiose. Its a much better sequel than Dead Space 2 for example with its endlessly reused environments.

Axel Cholewa
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Vigil were fantastic, and DS one of my favorite IPs! I have rarely played a game with controls that tight, platforming that fluent and combat that exciting - all at the same time!

Platinum games taking over Darksiders? I use to be an optimist, but I don't like their games' aesthetics (both sounds/music and graphics) and keep my hopes low for that. It just makes me sad that the people (or most of them) who made DS great can't continue to work on it.


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